Friday, August 10, 2012

Ships Ahoy!

I've had the blessing of spending the past 2 days aboard the USS Yorktown.  It's not going anywhere -- it's moored in 28 feet of mud.  I was there for the History and Science Teachers' Institute.  Currently, the Yorktown's education department has a standards-based curriculum for these subjects (and STEM integration) at the 5th grade level, a small program at the 3rd grade level, and a small but growing program for 7th and 8th grade.  They're trying to branch out and the Yorktown's education program is becoming more cross-curricular, with an emphasis on science and social studies.  (That's why there were a bunch of teachers there.)  The entire environment surrounding the ship became part of the education process.  To begin with, the Navy has quite a variety of jobs.  During the initial conversations with the kids, the Yorktown Ed Instructors talk about the fact that it's a floating city with respect to job variety and self-sufficiency.  Yes, they have to ship certain items in, but so does just about every city in the world.  We're all so inter-connected.  The water the ship is in, Charleston Harbor, the marsh, the surrounding barrier islands and sand spits are all included in the science and geography (land forms) lessons taught on board the ship.  A brief tour is given, though one of the other teachers and I were talking about how easy it would be to spend 2 or so days touring the Yorktown, as opposed to the 2 hours that most field trips get.  I was there for two days and still feel like there is so much more I could have seen and absorbed.  All in all, the institute was a blast.  There were about 25 teachers all committed to their students and interested in ideas.  We had good teacher dialogue interspersed between the fun.  There were games, riddles, and even camping on the Yorktown for some of them!

I'm going to give you some picture highlights of the trip, so that you can plan to check it out for your students.

Oh- one way that they're keeping things really cross-curricular is with the Aid of a book called Oscar I am, Harry I was?!?  It traces a water molecule- Hannah, Harry, and Oscar- through SC and all the stations tie back to these three atoms and the letters that are subsequently related to bring it to each generation and make it real.  I'm planning to read parts of the book to both my social studies and science classes as we progress through our units.

In the wet lab

Watching the plankton and jellyfish from the Harbor on the smart
board via a very cool microscope camera.

hermit crab comes out to play

smallest horseshoe crab I've seen

Now THAT's a sewing machine!

math project in ratios

I should've kept with scouting- these are only some of the knots.

Learning about living spaces- another standard- and the only
baby ever born onboard, and how the men treated the baby

class A propaganda

It starts with a K- medical area station

SC landforms, etc.
the sub- the Clamgore

Medal of Honor Museum

His medal of honor paperwork was "lost" for 70
years...until desegregation. 

The medals for the different branches

part of the little Vietnam.  There is a small city that looks
just like Mash!

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