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.
A talented team of Hamlin girls created the film Our Ocean as part of their Grade 5 intensive work last spring. This coming Sunday the film will be shown at the Cowell Theater (10 a.m. at Fort Mason) as part of the International Ocean Film Festival.
Now in its 16th year, the IOFF is an acclaimed festival of independent ocean-related films from all over the world. Themes range from ocean adventure, science, and marine life to sports and coastal cultures. We look for films that not only entertain audiences but also educate and inspire people to participate in environmental efforts in and around the ocean, as well as promote better ocean stewardship.
The student film explores the importance of the ocean and delves into the crucial environmental threats that it currently faces. Our Ocean blends beauty and splendor, with a call to action, echoing Hamlin’s mission to meet the challenges of our time.
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)
The Hamlin Ocean is an interdisciplinary, cross grade level collaboration of young artists and scientists created for this year’s Ocean Awareness eco-theme.
Using recyclable materials, Kindergarten artists created papier maché sea turtles, penguins, dolphins, and seals. In science class, they learned about the layers of the ocean, and made intertidal zone animals.
First Grade scientistssewed bioluminescent fish with adaptations for survival using copper tape, LED lights, coin cell batteries, and felt. In art class, they designed ceramic dolphin and penguin bells.
Second Grade artists designed bioluminescent jellyfish using recycled vinyl and paper lanterns. In science, they experimented with neutral buoyancy and plankton.
Using recycled cardboard and paint, Third Grade artists engineered sea creatures in relief sculpture. In science, they added circuitry to the sculptures using copper tape, LED stickers, and coin cell batteries.
Fourth Grade artists studied the texture and shape of starfish and created ceramic starfish sculptures. In science, they learned about Dr. Sylvia Earle’s ocean exploration and used Book creator, Pages, or Canva to make posters with inspiring quotes and facts.
This beautifully intricate display will be showing in Mckinne Lounge through our Earth Day celebration on April 27.
On March 8, Hamlin students walked a mile down the hill to the Cowell Theater (Fort Mason) to watch films from the 15th Annual International Ocean Film Festival. The films provided inspiration and crucial information, a perfect fit for this year’s eco-theme focused on Ocean-Awareness.
The International Ocean Film Festival is:
Dedicated to using film as a medium to increase public awareness of the environmental, social, and cultural importance of marine ecosystems and foster a spirit of ocean stewardship, IOFF is now the premier venue in North America for ocean-related films.
Every year, IOFF produces an acclaimed festival of ocean-themed films from all over the world that are largely unavailable to the general public. Themes range from marine science and industry to sports and adventure. We look for films that entertain, educate, and encourage active participation in ocean conservation.
Students watched several films from all over the world. Highlights included learning:
-How the bodies of pelicans dive into the water at 45mph
-About the declining population of sharks in the region of Borneo
-About coral restoration projects, and how coral is vital to the ocean’s ecosystem
-About Mexican fishing bats and their nightly excursions to feed on fish
This year’s eco-theme at The Hamlin School is Ocean Awareness. On January 5, we welcomed Heirs To Our Oceans, a dynamic group of young leaders striving to protect our beautiful planet earth.
Heirs to Our Oceans is a rising tide of young leaders around the globe who are taking the ocean crisis into their own hands, educating themselves and others, bringing hope and solutions to the surface, and creating waves of change that will ensure the health of our blue planet for their generation and for future generations.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Heirs To Our Oceans is a nonprofit started by young people, with over 200 members globally. The core group (ages 11-14) spoke passionately and profoundly on a variety of topics.
They made the following points (among others):
-93% of extra heat from greenhouse gases goes into the ocean
-Coral bleaching/dying, ocean acidification, and sea level rise are growing concerns
-We can reduce our impact on the environment by eating less beef, using renewable energy, and doing away with single use plastics