Ten lucky high school students are participating in a novel, hands-on summer pilot program designed to help them explore — and record — issues about rising seas, pollution and climate change in South Florida.
The students — 10th and 11th graders from MAST (Marine and Science Technology) high school at Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami — are taking part in a three-week program dubbed Student Environmental Advocacy (SEA) Corps. It’s structured to engage urban high school students in various water activities and inspire them to effect change.
Daily activities include environmental walks, geocaching (using technology to identify the environment of specific locations), kayaking through seagrass in Biscayne Bay, scuba diving and using remotely operated vehicles. Students preserve their experiences through broadcast stories, animations and musical productions.
Students were selected through an application process, with most having been actively engaged in environmental issues during the past school year. There is no cost to attend the three-week camp, which runs June 8-30.
The unique program is co-sponsored by http://mastfiu.dadeschools.net/, FIU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, FIU’s School of Environment, Arts and Society, World Ocean Watch and The Celebration of the Sea Foundation.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for educators, journalists, scientists and visual and performing artists to join forces to inform, engage and inspire the next generation of student environmental advocates,” said Dr. Matthew Welker, principal of MAST@FIU.
As part of the program, students are conducting scientific experiments related to local flora and fauna and collecting data regarding the mangrove populations located at the Biscayne Bay Campus.
“Interactions like this one strengthen our community by better preparing students for college and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers,” says Cristian Carranza, administrative director, Division of Academics, Accountability and School Improvement, Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Student education and empowerment are key goals of this innovative summer experience.
“This program serves an imperative need to educate us and others on the immediate environment by using an interactive means,” says participant Saad Masud, 16. “I truly believe that SEA Corps will help us to better our understanding of the world around us.”
In order for the SEA Corps pilot program to be repeated or expanded to other schools in Miami-Dade County, additional funds (at least $50,000) must be raised.
BBQ at the Dutch
The Dutch, located inside the W South Beach Hotel & Residences, 2201 Collins Ave., will host its fourth annual “Bourbon, Beer and ’Cue” dining series beginning July 1. It happens from 7 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays during July.
Each week, Chef de Cuisine Conor Hanlon will team up with a rotating list of guest chefs and mixologists to craft a family-style BBQ feast, complete with seasonal pies and summer treats by pastry Chef Josh Gripper.
Kicking off on Wednesday, July 1: Hanlon will partner with Aaron Brooks of EDGE Steak & Bar (Four Seasons Miami) for a “classic, smokey southern BBQ.”
Tickets to the weekly BBQ nights are $40 per person, including tax and gratuity; excluding beverages. In addition to bourbon specials, The Dutch will also feature limited small batch beers from local breweries.
Walk-ins are welcome. For information or reservations, call (305) 938-3111 or visit www.thedutchmiami.com.
Beach Buzz appears every other Sunday, and focuses on people and businesses throughout the Beaches, Aventura and Miami. To reach Debra K. Leibowitz, call 305-531-7887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.