Give now to encourage kids to become scientists | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

We’re fortunate to live in a beautiful place and a community that values innovative learning. Through the One Call red envelope campaign we each have the opportunity to contribute to an island-based organization that is taking science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focused learning outdoors.

Bainbridge Island based non-profit Salish Sea Expeditions uses the Puget Sound as a living laboratory to engage students in real-world science and applied STEM education. A recent study has shown that 44 percent of middle schoolers would prefer to take out the garbage than do their math homework. This kind of data underscores the importance of making learning relevant and engaging as a way to help kids get excited about STEM subjects.

Since 1997, Salish Seas Expeditions has been doing just that, partnering with schools and educational organizations to bring meaningful, boat-based learning experiences to students in grades 5 through 12. Salish lets kids conduct real scientific research and engage in STEM exploration together with maritime skills training. You can support their work through your annual One Call for All giving.

By combining rigorous, student-led investigation with the adventure of becoming crew and scientist on Puget Sound, students find themselves engaged in navigational calculations, discussing the physics of sailing, assessing the significance of water quality indicators, and examining microscopic life in water samples. Participating in a Salish Seas Expeditions program is an unforgettable experience that can instill a love of learning and places kids within an ecosystem that can be explored using many different STEM disciplines.

Many of our Bainbridge students have had the opportunity to become a student scientist and mariner with Salish over the years. In 2017, the organization served 120 students in Kitsap County, including those from Woodward and Odyssey Multi-Age. Much of Salish Seas Expeditions’ fundraising goes towards bringing this experience to underserved youth throughout the region, many of whom have never had the chance to explore Puget Sound. This truly is a valuable educational resource in our community.

Please consider donating to Salish Seas Expeditions as you mail in your Red Envelope.

PEGEEN MULHERN

Bainbridge Island

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