This fall, GMRI welcomed four new Fellows to LabVenture!.
These new team members lead the experience and support students as they investigate the complex interactions between lobsters, cod, copepods, herring, and humans.
We recently asked them to reflect on their first few months in the lab and share the interactions they’ve found most powerful so far.
1. What about Fred?
I had just written a blog post about a seagull named Fred. I was pretty proud of it, but I was also wondering if any of the kids actually read our posts. A couple days later, a class from Stonington came into LabVenture!. Before the visit started, we asked the kids what questions they had about the Gulf of Maine. One girl, who was hopping with excitement, threw her hand in the air and burst out, 'What about Fred the Seagull!?' It made me so happy to hear that someone had read my post. It also made me feel more confident that students were interacting and getting excited about LabVenture! outside of GMRI."
— Julia Maine
2. Passion for Plankton
My favorite part about working with the kids is seeing them go from being unsure if they are connected to the Gulf of Maine to being confident that they are connected to it and affect it. It’s amazing to hear them say that plankton is their favorite part of the day. I find it really rewarding to pass on the knowledge of the importance of the ocean and how it is changing — my passion. It feels so amazing to be making a positive impact on the ocean and kid's experience of science at such a large scale.
I've also had a couple teachers tell me that a few of their students don't participate in the classroom become fully engaged in LabVenture!, interacting with their teams and even speaking up in the videos they create in our lab. It makes me really happy that we offer such a hands-on, interactive, and exciting program that gives kids a positive experience with science — something different from the classroom that motivates the kids who don't always thrive in the classroom setting."
— Ciera Akins
3. Asking Questions, Diving Deeper
I think my favorite part is when a student really connects with one aspect or question of the LabVenture! program. For example, last week a student asked a question about the type of plankton that was in her sample, and then she continued to delve deeper rather than just accepting the answer I gave her. It shows that the program has even more to offer than the amazing technology available to students; it leads students to ask questions and to get excited about what they’re learning. I love being able to see that and to help encourage that excitement!"
— Alison Feibel
4. Ending on the Right Note
The most memorable moments for me revolve around the end of the visit. There have been a few times where the students really took the opportunity to take ownership of the group discussion, and at those times I was doing little more than prompting a conversation that took place between them. These kids are eager to talk, offering compelling arguments and counterarguments. They really try to get to the bottom of the difficult questions that they tackle during the visit. It's great to watch."
— Evan Holliday