It’s all education. If it’s getting done right, everyone is learning something.
The educational programs that the Ikkatsu Project has on the go include a classroom/lab study that works with Middle School students on identifying microplastic in fresh water samples, collaborations with other organizations on single-use plastics seminars and curriculum development for these and future efforts. The idea of education is intertwined with everything else that is going on; it’s hard to separate it out sometimes.
That said, the fresh water plastics program At Lakeridge Middle School in Sumner is in its 4th year now. It’s covered in the Annual Report in some detail… the big developments coming in 2019 are going to be in the analysis portion of the class (students running all aspects of the lab), and with the program itself set to expand to several new schools.
This spring will include a collection of educational opportunities: a collaboration with the Sea Stars program from Harbor Wild Watch, where students 12-17 learn about marine plastics in the local environment as part of a larger unit of study; the Surfrider Leadership Summit, a reunion of sorts with members of the last three class cohorts, looking to develop adult and community education programs for the Washington Coast; curriculum development for an Alaska program that is scheduled to open in 2020 – this summer’s trip to Cape Decision will include some research and course construction sessions.
Film is another arm of education, and we’ve got that coming up as well, but here’s where the line blurs a bit between education and outreach. Not that it matters, really. Still, outreach will be the topic of the next post, ways to get people thinking about the problem on a level where something actually can be accomplished.