In October of 2022, we continued the MSU SEAS Program with a class of combined military-dependent children from the region. Partnering with educators from Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Aquarium, we took 30 middle-school and high-school students to Ship Island on the beautiful Gulf Islands National Seashore out of Gulfport Harbor.
While on the excursion, students learned about the history, geography, geology, environment, meteorology, and biology of the Mississippi Sound, The Barrier Islands of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, and the Gulf of Mexico in general.
Students were immersed in hands-on activities, which included the collection of marine scientific data, water quality samples and seafloor sediment, and identification of various marine species, as well as invasive aquatic plants. Program organizers and education experts said a priority of the program is to utilize one of the main tenets of modern educational theory, the concept of experiential learning, in which students are engaged when learning by doing.
“The idea is that through exposure to real-life scientific sampling techniques and locally relevant lesson content, we can remove the shadow of classroom learning and spark an interest in the sciences that will impact not only their future educational choices, but also their life-long interest and hopefully their career pathways"
NGI and the Mississippi Aquarium offer the program several times a year to both public and homeschooled students.