Tag Archives: Earth Day

Protecting Animals: Earth Day 2019

This year our Earth Day theme focused on protecting animals on planet earth. Over the last several months we looked at worldwide conservation efforts, how animals’ populations are interconnected with their habitat’s health, and threats facing animals. We investigated these topics through a series of school activities, speakers, and field trips.

Last Friday, we celebrated Earth Day with a wide array of animal-related activities.

Highlights included:

-Meeting/seeing various animals, including the following: alligator, Burmese python, armadillo, lynx, tamandua, sloth, hedgehog, ringtail lemur, possum, and a snapping turtle (Thanks to Safari Encounters)

-Learning interesting facts about animals from a presentation by Safari Encounters

-Taking action through art by: designing animal stamps, signing petitions to support endangered species, making public service announcement videos, and other activities

-Conducting a bake sale to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund

-Watching films related to protecting animals and our planet

To learn more about Safari Encounters, please visit: https://www.safariencounters.org/

 

Exploring Ocean Animals in Grade 5

On April 3, Grade 5 students were visited by Sharkmobile.

The Sharkmobile is a classroom program that focuses on the biology, natural history and conservation of sharks. The program has been underway since 2004, serving schools in eight counties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and reaching over 10,000 students and teachers.

The Sharkmobile program is for grades 4 through 6. The program teaches students about sharks and their cousins—skates and rays. Topics include biology, natural history, evolution, adaptations and conservation. The program addresses common shark myths, including how sharks are portrayed in the media and popular culture, as well as ways we can all work together to protect sharks and their ocean habitat.

Earlier in the year, a representative (also from the Greater Farallones Visitor Center) visited Hamlin and taught about leatherback turtles. Students learned about the life cycle and migration patterns of the turtles through interactive games. Girls also watched footage of a leatherback turtle foraging for food, and learned about their anatomy and physiology.

Protecting Animals on Planet Earth is the focus of this year’s Earth Day, and this partnership has been a wonderful way to support that theme. In May our students will go to the Greater Farallones Visitor Center to learn about squid and seabirds.

Dr. Sylvia Earle Visits Hamlin For Earth Day

On April 27, the Hamlin School welcomed world-renowned marine biologist, Dr. Sylvia Earle.

Dr. Earle is an American marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer. She has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998. Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. She is also part of the group Ocean Elders, which is dedicated to protecting the ocean and its wildlife.

Dr. Earle spoke for almost an hour to a room full of more than 400 students and parents. She made the following inspiring statements (among others):

-If anyone ever tells you can’t do something, ask why not?

-Every creature on earth is unique.

-We are the first generation to see the consequences of consuming the earth.

-The earth is all there is for the future of humankind and we have to take care of it.

-I was attracted to living things on this earth since the beginning of my memory.

-Get wet, get into the water of the earth, if I stay out of water too long dry rot sets in.

-I lived for two weeks underwater, having the ocean as a living laboratory.

-Women were not expected to dive, be scientists, or aquanauts.

-I can do what I can do to make a difference.

-Have the ocean be a part of your life.

Near the end of her speech, Dr. Earle spoke about Hope Spots.

Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart. Hope Spots are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean. Dr. Sylvia Earle introduced the concept in her 2009 TED talk and since then the idea has inspired millions across the planet. While about 12 percent of the land around the world is now under some form of protection (as national parks etc.), less than six percent of the ocean is protected in any way. Hope Spots allow us to plan for the future and look beyond current marine protected areas (MPAs), which are like national parks on land where exploitative uses like fishing and deep sea mining are restricted. Hope Spots are often areas that need new protection, but they can also be existing MPAs where more action is needed. 

In addition to Dr. Earle’s visit, Hamlin students also participated in the following Earth Day activities:

-Explored the ocean with virtual reality glasses

-Wrote letters to government officials urging them to reduce plastic usage

-Watched the play “Plastic is not Fantastic” (performed by students in grades 3 and 4)

-Created pledges to support the environment

-Played ocean charades

To learn more about Dr. Earle’s nonprofit, please visit https://mission-blue.org/

Below is a clip of Dr. Earle speaking: