Despite the bad weather with tropical storm Saola, Friday, October 27th, turned out to be a good day for a Rock Islands Trip. Eleven science teachers from the Ministry of Education (MOE) participated in the first of a series of field trips whose purpose is to introduce educators to the Palau Legacy Project (a campaign that focused on individual responsibility to the environment for tourists and locals) and provide local outreach regarding the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS). 

[restrict] Traveling aboard the Abigail boat, teachers were reminded of the history of Palau and the majestic Rock Islands. Topics covered also included responsible tourism, careers in the environment, conservation, and biodiversity. Throughout the day, teachers were able to explore how the experiential field trip could support established MOE learning targets, especially as they enter the second quarter of the school year. The full itinerary included a visit to Ngederrak Conservation Area, Ongeim L’tketau/Jelly Fish Lake (on the dock and trail only), Ngchelobel snorkeling site, Ngermeiaus for lunch, and again snorkeling at the Cemetery before heading back.

Speakers included Dora Benhart, Outreach Coordinator, Coastal Management of the Dept. of Conservation and Law Enforcement of Koror state; Jim Kloulechad, Marine Law Officer for the Division of Marine Law; and Yalap P. Yalap, Education Programs Coordinator of PCS. The trip is one approach to empower educators to use Palau’s unique natural environment as a classroom and teaching tool. Event coordinators hope that the teacher’s experience will trickle down to students as they grow in their understanding of science, learn the importance of protecting the environment, explore future careers, and strive to understand Palau’s tourism industry.

In order for every public school science teacher to visit the Rock Islands, PCS will be coordinating the Science Teacher Field Trips for the next several weeks. PCS and Palau Pledge would like to thank the partners who help to make these trips possible: Ministry of Natural Resources Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Education, Koror State Government, Bureau of Marine Law, Coral Reef Research Center, and Mr. Chico Nakamura.

For more information, contact Yalap P. Yalap at 488-3993/4716 or [/restrict]