Middle Schoolers Explore Marine Life

Seventh graders dived into their end-of-year oceanography unit with visits from experts in the field.

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Middle school science teacher Dana McNamee explained that her class focuses on “the life science aspects of the oceans and the impacts organisms are facing due to human impact.” According to McNamee, students have benefited from special guest speakers who add a new perspective to classroom discussions. “The pandemic has provided us the opportunity to look at the typical field trip in a completely different way.”

McNamee’s former colleague from the New England Aquarium, Kara Mahoney Robinson, spoke with students four times this month. The right whale researcher shared her experiences following the whales by plane as they migrated from Maine to the Caribbean. She also taught students about “the work that governments, scientists and even fishermen are doing to protect this endangered species,” said McNamee. “The kids really enjoyed this time and learned a lot from her regarding in-field research.”

“I think this unit is being taught in a really interesting and engaging way, and learning from Dr. Mac who has a specialized background in marine sciences is a unique opportunity for us,” Alex Kritzer ’26 said.
This week, educators from MarineLab joined the class from the mangroves of the Florida keys. The organization uses education and adventure in the Florida Keys ecosystem to foster environmental awareness and stewardship on a local, regional and global scale. The guest speakers described the ecosystems and impacts of climate change in that region. Annabelle Trahan ’26 was impressed with “their crazy stories. Seeing their jobs is really cool.” 

Ginger Yancovich ’26 has enjoyed the experience, sharing that “I like learning about oceanography because there is so much to discover!”

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