Day of the Coast

Early on April 11th, dozens of docents (a docent is a trained interpreter of art or science) from the UNH SeaGrant program and other presenters hauled in containers of salt water, seaweed, SCUBA gear and live denizens of coastal tidepools for the first ‘Day of the Coast’ at Belmont Middle School. The marine docents were part of seventeen presentations offered in five sessions during the day to all students at BMS. SeaGrant brought lobsters, plate tectonics, tidepool ecology, seaweed, marine mammals, and a live touch tank to our students. The Portsmouth Shipyard sent a marine engineer to
talk about design and had students envision how to create a sub escape suit. He then showed them what millions of engineering came up with: a bright red plastic jumpsuit! The US Coast Guard presented the many missions they perform out of the Newcastle, NH base. The UNH CCOM undersea mapping group had amazing slides and videos from Antarctica, near the North Pole, and undersea. Last but not least, our teachers presented on marine debris and buoyancy, squid anatomy/dissection, making and sailing Gundalows,
whales, rowing, and SCUBA. A special thanks for their support of the day and for the help of a team of NJHS students who helped move docent gear! The day was ‘produced’ by the newly reformatted Discovery Program at BMS, which emphasizes challenging every student’s potential and expanding horizons for all students through programs like Day of the Coast. We are currently raising money for a follow up activity called ‘Floating Lab’, which will expose 30 students to a day on salt water doing water testing and ecology in early June. Please contact the Shaker School District or Discovery Program if you can help with this program funding.