Over 7 billion people live along the quarter of the Earth that is covered by land, and the remaining three-quarters is dominated by oceans, which the world’s populous relies on for sustenance, communication, and trade. Despite the inseparable connection humanity shares with the ocean, education strategically focused on the marine environment is uncommon. The Government of the United States stipulates the funds and intended curriculum for national education, however science is not paramount, with marine education having no formal representation. This dichotomy is particularly disparate in coastal areas where marine interactions account for the majority of the local economy. In the ecologically unique environment of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), along the Eastern Central coast of Florida, the mission of the New Smyrna Beach Marine Discovery Center is to rectify the inconsistency between marine science and education. The Aquanauts project was developed for the expressed purpose of introducing marine education to elementary school students in the IRL county Vol usia, in order to integrate the local youth in the preservation of these essential, natural resources.
Birghenthal, Kaitlin A., "Aquanauts" (2013). Internship Reports (Restricted). 165.
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