For the past few months, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) worked with Ministry of Education (MOE) to develop a new 9th grade environmental science electronic course that will be implemented using tablets and other instructional technology during this upcoming school year at Palau High School (PHS).

PICRC Director of Research, Geraldine Rengiil, and Researchers, Evelyn Otto and Marine Gouezo, worked alongside MOE Science Curriculum Specialist, Debbie Nagata, Science Teacher Training Specialists, Sarah Sugiyama, as well as Kyah Remeliik – Chair of PHS Science Department, and PHS science teachers.

After the initial release of the Paradise of Nature book by PICRC in December 2017, the Ministry of Education has been keen on using the book as a science textbook for high school students. Since the environmental science course will use instructional technology (tablets, laptops, etc.), it provided the perfect opportunity for MOE to incorporate the Paradise of Nature e-book and accompanying computer application into teachers’ lessons and student learning activities.

The environmental science course includes units on coral reefs, mangrove forests, and native upland forests. This provides opportunities for students to apply science concepts and skills to learn about the unique and diverse ecosystem of their home island.

The course takes a balanced approach, incorporating lectures, in class science labs, outdoor science labs, and technology to access content and demonstrate learning. In addition to serving as reviewers for the course, researcher Marine demonstrated field work protocols and methods to the science teachers in the field.

Ms. Gouezo trained teachers at Long Island Park to lay a transect tape and practice the ecological monitoring method called ‘Point Intercept Transect”, a method used to collect information on the health of coral reefs. By learning this method, the teachers will be able to organize student field work so they can apply science methods to monitor changes to marine ecosystem over time. (PR)