Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) has numerous programs that focus on the students of Palau. The main aim of PICRC’s outreach program is to use the Center’s facilities and its expertise to increase understanding and awareness of Palau’s unique marine environment and the need to manage and conserve it for future generations. For the 2016 fiscal year, PICRC’s outreach programs reached 82% of all Palauan students, which is a major accomplishment for the Center.
There are various programs offered at the Center that are geared toward the students and the schools. Each year, the PICRC outreach conducts the annual Arts and Tides Calendar contest. This past year, 44% of all students from 17 out 18 elementary school and 4 out of 5 high schools participated in the 2017 Arts and Tides Calendar contest.
Another popular program at the Center is the internship program. Starting in 2014, more students from elementary, high school, and college, have come to PICRC to intern, especially during the summer months. Last summer, from June thru August 2016, a summer internship program called “Building Science and Environmental Capacity in Palau’s Youth” brought 8 students to the Center, two of whom were recent high school graduates from PMA and one each from Palau High School and Mindszenty, while the rest were Palauan university students attending colleges in Hawaii and Alaska. In addition, there were other interns who worked with the aquarists in the Palau Aquarium from Xavier High School and Palau High School. Other interns worked with the Administration Department at the Giant Clam Gift Shop. Interns at PICRC gain practical experience and knowledge of marine science and conservation efforts in Palau. Internships are a great way for students to gauge their future academic and career goal.
Other PICRC programs geared towards students includes guided tours of Palau Aquarium for students. In addition, PICRC also offers lectures to school groups, either at the Center or at the school campuses around Palau.
“We are delighted to have been able to reach so many of our students here in Palau”, stated Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, CEO of PICRC. “We hope that through our outreach programs, students gain a deeper understanding of our marine environment and the need to continue to manage and conserve it so that we can continue to reap its benefits. We also hope that our programs can inspire some of the students to continue their education in the sciences and return to Palau after their college education to contribute to the efforts here to manage our resources wisely.” [/restrict]