Grade schoolers dive into ocean studies

RANCHO SANTA FE — Ocean Week kicked off May 24 at Rowe Elementary School.
This special time of study for the students is a total school immersion in ocean science that is incorporated in the lesson plans for math, social studies, geography and art courtesy of the school’s partnership with Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
An assembly officially opened the nearly two-week event that concluded June 3.
All of the classes visited the classes of two other grade levels to see what they have done to recognize Ocean Week.
Scientists came to the school to speak about their travels and what they have learned about sea creatures.
Each class studied a different area of ocean science. Kindergarten learned about ponds; first grade, the rocky seashore; second grade, sandy beaches; third grade, wetlands; fourth grade, kelp forests; fifth grades, the open ocean; sixth, islands; seventh, coral reefs; and eighth grade, polar seas.
As a culmination of the studies, each class painted their own acrylic banners led by artist Bruce Stewart.
On a recent day Stewart helped the first-graders from Jessica Henke’s class paint the rocky seashore habitat with all sorts of birds, fish and shellfish, all native to the habitat.
Stewart said each student drew their own rocky seashore on a piece of paper. He then took elements out of each student’s artwork, copied it, and placed it properly in the habitat. Then each class got to paint their own banner.
“I never thought the sun would have red polka dots, but I love it,” Stewart said.

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