UVI Hosts Marine Debris Curriculum Workshops for 37 VI Educators

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St. Thomas educators are working with Erin Hollander, an MSc student in Marine and Environmental Science at UVI, to examine microplastics in a local water sample using blue light. This activity is taken from the Mapping Microplastics lesson in the USVI Marine Debris Curriculum. (Photo credit: Kristin Grimes) – Photo submitted

The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) hosted two educator workshops – June 28 in St. Thomas and June 30 in St. Croix – to present hands-on, interactive lessons from the new USVI Marine Debris Curriculum. The program includes 12 lessons for middle and high school students and highlights the composition and abundance of marine debris, sources and transport, impacts and solutions.

St Thomas educator Cleopatra Skerrit-Genelus from All Saints Cathedral School shows the products from the plastic recycling lesson. (Photo credit: Kitty Edwards) — Photo submitted

It also highlights 16 locally relevant research projects and people working on marine debris issues. The program was co-created by the established Virgin Islands Program to Boost Competitive Research at UVI (VI EPSCoR) and 61 Virgin Islands educators during workshops in 2016 and 2018. Kits are now available on loan with supplies for educators to implement these lessons in the classroom with funding from the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources (VIDPNR).

Thirty-seven educators participated in the workshops from 15 schools in the territory, in addition to people from the VI Department of Planning and Natural Resources and the Virgin Islands Children’s Museum. Participants shared that “the hands-on activities were very meaningful” and “no matter what you teach, you can impact the environment with these lessons.”

St. Croix educators explore concepts about the composition and abundance of marine debris during the Beach Box lesson. (Photo credit: Allie Durdall)

“We were extremely pleased with the interest generated by this workshop and the enthusiasm with which the educators engaged in the lessons and activities. We hope that by providing this program and the resources to implement it, educators and students will see how they can reduce marine debris and be part of the solution for its reduction along our coasts,” said Kristin Wilson. Grimes, Ph.D., researcher. assistant professor at UVI’s Center for Marine and Environmental Studies and co-leader of the project.

To download a free copy of the program and learn more about marine debris efforts in the territory, visit: https://viepscor.org/about-marine-debris-in-the-usvi

To request a hard copy of the program or more information about the kit loaner program, email: [email protected]

For more information, contact the Office of Public Relations at [email protected]

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