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Southeastern Connecticut's premier elementary school
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Kids Teaching Kids 2017

A highlight of the school year is Kids Teaching Kids, a wonderful example of collaborative learning on a school-wide level at SSA. K-1 students have been learning about different kinds of boats and how they are designed to do different jobs. Each student chose a job requiring a special boat to research. They created tri-fold displays and explained their jobs and boats to the rest of the school. Their chosen professions were captain of a Coast Guard icebreaker, captain of a marine patrol police boat, crew member on a Coast Guard rescue team, and captain of a Navy tugboat. Highly enthused second graders researched careers related to the ocean. They each chose a particular career to explore such as scuba diver, underwater photographer, underwater pilot, and even a lifeguard. They were intrigued by the education and training needed to acquire such a profession. After writing a report, they morphed into the role of each career down to the required clothing and equipment. The second grade captivated their audience's full attention by teaching their peers about each career as if they were actually employed in that field. Their unique spin on a memorable moment in their career demonstrated impressive connections that these young students made as they pictured a life of working in close proximity with the ocean. Fourth and Fifth grade students were thrilled to take on the roles of careers related to aquariums. Our ichthyologists shared how to rescue a beached whale. Our marine mammal trainer shared how operant conditioning is used to train seals to do tricks and how to use the technique of shaping to turn those tricks into multi step achievements. Prosthetic devices were explained by our marine mammal rehabilitator and our marine veterinarian shared the plethora of places where marine vets work including laboratories and cruise ships. Sixth grade students transformed into marine scientists, specifically a marine biologist and marine geologist. Together they taught the younger grades about the responsibilities and challenges of a scientist working aboard the Aquarius, the only permanent underwater lab in the US, and the deep-ocean submersible, the Alvin. We would like to thank the Dominion Energy Charitable Trust and the New London Water Authority/Veolia for their generous support of this project.

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