The Back to Nature: Jellyfish Lake program run by Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF) has concluded for the academic school year 2021–2022. This year’s program was made possible with generous funding from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. The Back to Nature: Jellyfish Lake program (https://youtu.be/4fcSBz0zhWM) is an educational program that teaches students about Jellyfish Lake and science through a mixture of in class and field trip activities. This program allows kids to be scientists for a day through fun activities like measuring temperature, salinity and oxygen levels in Jellyfish Lake, searching for the pink bacteria layer, observing plankton using field microscopes, and documenting marine organisms found in the lake. The program was again very popular and a huge success, reaching 245 students from 15 different schools.
Wrapping up the program, Coral Reef Research Foundation met with Maris Stella Elementary School teachers to present the Back to Nature: Jellyfish Lake program curriculum, lesson plans and equipment that all public and private schools will use for the program in the coming school years. The “Back to Nature” curriculum includes detailed lesson plans, class presentations and equipment instructions; the curriculum serves as a guide for teachers. The lesson plans, both teacher and student guides, will be distributed to all public and private elementary schools, and are available online (https://coralreefpalau.org/education/back-to-nature-jellyfish-lake/). With support from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, CRRF also procured equipment that all schools can sign out for the field day in Jellyfish Lake. This equipment includes water quality meters, Nansen bottles, underwater cameras, field microscopes, and masks and fins. With both the lesson plans and equipment, teachers and schools will be able to carry out the Back to Nature program in future school years. Though the program is aimed at 6th grade students, it has been successfully implemented with students from 3rd grade through high school. For more information about the program, visit https://coralreefpalau.org/education/back-to-nature-jellyfish-lake/.
Coral Reef Research Foundation studies all aspects of the marine environment in Palau and conducts outreach activities to raise awareness and instill pride in students about their natural marine resources and environment. For more information, please contact CRRF at 488-5255, or stop by our lab on Malakal, home of the jellyfish wall. @CoralReefResearchFoundation