Fall is off to a fantastic start in Educational Programs!  CEI jumped back into the academic year with two amazing weeks of programming. Along for the ride were our students from Round Square, a collaborative group of 17 young adults from Canada and Massachusetts, followed by Palm Beach Day Academy of Florida. The Round Square group dropping the Medusa

Round Square ambassadors spent time on Eleuthera before heading to the annual Round Square conference.  Students focused on their “IDEALS of learning: Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service” while at CEI, and investigated the concept of what it means to live and travel well.  Round Square students had the once in a lifetime opportunity of launching the Medusa with the Shark Research team, along with dissecting a lionfish, conducting shuttle box experiments, and surveying the local beaches for marine debris.

Round Square group playing with kids at the resource center.

To emphasize the international element of the program, CEI organized and launched a Round Square-DCMS Plastics Seminar! The day began by pairing each Round Square student with a DCMS student, and quickly launched into round table discussions on plastics pollution and its impact on environment and our bodies.  All DCMS and the Round Square students were insightful and reflective on plastics in daily life, and each left with recycled plastic jewelry to remind them to keep continue thinking about plastic’s role in our world.

Students from Palm Beach Day Academy

As Round Square left, Palm Beach Day Academy students immediately arrived to take their place!  Their week focused heavily on marine ecology, with multiple snorkels daily.  Some highlights included a night snorkel to a submerged shipwreck and an intense snorkel in the mangrove flats during extreme high tide. Students saw a wide range of Bahamian geology, from tiny ooids at the sandbar to the ancient limestone at Rock Sound Ocean Hole Park.  Palm Beach students dove into a multitude of research projects, assisting in plastics surveys in Bannerman Town, shuttle box trials with the flats team, and conch transects with the Gap Year students.

Palm Beach Day also made some great new friends at DCMS, spending a rainy afternoon at the Resource Center with some local Deep Creek readers!  Although evening plans were dampened when Wemyss Bight Homecoming was rained out, Palm Beach students had a delicious Bahamian meal at Ship to Shore.

The collaboration, enthusiasm, and positive attitudes over these two weeks were simply incredible.  We are so excited for students to return to their three separate corners of North America and continue to pave the path to a more sustainable future!