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Science Camp

Life Transforming Marine Science Summer Camps for Youth in California

Marine Science Summer Camps in California

Mountain and Sea Adventures offers the most interactive and inspiring marine science summer camps in California. Our hands-on field activities reinforce what they have been learning in class through the year, and impart a personal experience of field science, which acts as the foundation for a deeper appreciation for the wonderful world of marine biology and oceanography. This kid of one-on-one encounter with the natural world and resulting love for science is something that cannot be replicated inside the classroom.

Marine Biology Camps in California

When you arrive at camp Emerald Bay, at the west side of Santa Catalina Island, your life is changed forever. There is no going back. Each person who attends is deeply impacted by the raw beauty of nature that surrounds them, and the endless opportunities to develop themselves, which the program affords.

The location of Emerald Bay makes it a unique location for studying marine biology. Camps in California are a dime a dozen, but only one gives you and your students the opportunity to not only visit, but live at the most desirable location on Catalina Island, camp Emerald Bay with Mountain and Sea Adventures!

Campers learn to keep a field journal, and to conduct actual field science during their camp activities. After trawling for plankton on board our pontoon boat, campers look at their samples under high-powered microscopes in the multi million-dollar research center, The Pennington Marine Science Center. There are no other marine biology camps in California that offer so much to local schools and their students!

Oceanography summer camps

During the summer, when schools are not in session, the MSA staff launches our summer program on board our hundred and twelve foot marine research vessel, The Enhydra! This vessel is a floating hotel with all the gear and equipment necessary for the best oceanography summer camp of your life!

Summer Floating Sea Camp program activities include:

  • Jumping off the top deck of the ship!
  • Discover scuba diving
  • Surfing on the backside of the island
  • Live on board a mini cruise ship.
  • Study marine biology and Oceanography
  • Hike, snorkel, kayak, and play together in the water!

Life Transforming Programs for Kids

Being outside of your comfort zones gives you the unique opportunity to push your self to achieve greater heights, to develop various qualities and traits (some of which you may never have known you had!), and to make friendships that often last a life time!

Although it is the time of your life, MSA’s program is challenging – without a doubt! However, it is this opportunity to challenge your self, face your fears and achieve personal victory that makes this program so life transforming.

For the MSA Staff, teaching good solid marine science is important, and we are passionate about it, but not nearly as passionate as we are about building character in youth and helping each individual child expand their horizons and demonstrate to them selves that they are capable of greater than what they had previously thought possible.

Marine Science Adventures in The Matchless Beauty of Catalina Island

Catalina Island is one of the greatest resources for Californians, with miles of breathtaking and undeveloped coastline, remote beaches, hidden sea caves, sandy beaches, and endless island ecosystems.

Just coming to the island imparts a deep personal love and passion for the marine environment. Activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, trawling for plankton and hiking the various trails of the island, give students the opportunity to take what they have learned in the brief lecture before hand and use the scientific method to conduct their own actual field research.

At the end of each program activity campers are encouraged to develop a hypothesis and to observe the findings in their field journals to conclude their thoughts.

Celebrating 20 years of outdoor education, Mountain and Sea Adventures inspires thousands of youth to become environmental stewards and world changers every year. You can attend one of our programs as a school, small or large group, family or individual! No matter where you attend one of our programs you can look forward to an educational adventure you and your group will remember for a life time!

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Floating Sea Camp: Taking Adventure Summer Camps To A Whole New Level!

There are no other adventure summer camps in California like MSA’s Floating Sea Camp!

With twenty years of experience running outdoor education programs on Catalina Island, San Bernardino National Forest, as well as on board our hundred and twelve foot marine research, no body does adventure summer camps like Mountain and Sea Adventures!

MSA’s Adventure Camps Summer Programs

Our adventure camps summer programs combine education with fun! Campers get the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zones for a whole week and try such activities as snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, surfing, hiking and learning new skills.

Each activity is designed to be not only educational and adventurous, but to develop particular character traits such as courage and perseverance. This is what the MSA staff is most passionate about: Building character in youth!

Outdoor Adventure Camps for Youth

There is no other event more exciting during summer break than coming to outdoor adventure camp. For youth ages nine to seventeen, this program is bound to be the highlight of their summer!

Each participant gets the chance to try new things, develop various interests, hone in on particular skills, challenge themselves and walk away with a greater sense of self worth, self esteem and improved self image.

The outdoor adventure camps for youth that MSA runs structure the opportunity for each camper to face their fears and achieve new heights in their personal growth. This is the most satisfying part of what we do, seeing youth leave with their self image completely transformed, having proved to themselves that they can achieve things beyond what they previously thought possible.

Living On Board A Marine Research Vessel

There are over a dozen youth camps on Catalina Island, but this is the only program where participants get to live on board a marine research vessel as they tour around the various coves, and dive spots around the island. We even go to the backside of the island to surf and play in the waves!

The Enhydra is a US Coast Guard certified marine research vessel that sleeps over forty people. Each cabin sleeps two to three people and has it’s own toilet and shower. The accommodations on board are superb, and it feels like you are staying on board a mini cruise ship!

The ship is fully stocked and equipped with wet suits, snorkel gear, kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, as well as all the various scientific needed to do activities such as plankton trawl and microscope lab.

Exploring Santa Catalina Island for a Week

During Floating Sea Camp on board the Enhydra, campers are not limited to just one cove like every other camp on the island, but can tour all the best highlights of what the island has to offer (which is quite a lot!).

Santa Catalina Island has the best snorkeling in California, and is among the top dive spots in the world. After living, playing and working on the island for over twenty years, we know the secret spots and the very best of the island, which only the locals know.

Campers spend time in Avalon and Two Harbors, as well as coves like White’s Landing and Emerald Bay. They get to experience Discover Scuba Diving at the dive park in Avalon, snorkel at breathtaking locations such as Italian Gardens, and journey to the backside coves of Little Harbor, and Shark Harbor.

The amount of time immersed in the matchless beauty of nature that Catalina Isalnd afford imparts a deep personal love for the ocean environment. People only protect that which they love, so imparting this personal experience to the next generation of earth stewards is of paramount importance.

Having A Blast Playing in the Turquoise Island Water

There is nothing like swimming in the ocean water of Catalina. The water is much more clean and clear than the water on the mainland of California. The algae and sunlight gives many coves a turquoise aquamarine color, reminiscent of the tropics. In fact, in recent years we have been seeing more tropical fish and even sea turtles visit the island shores.

The Benefit of Coming to Summer Camp for Kids and Teens

Whether if it is to explore a love for marine biology or just to escape for some fun in the sun and water, MSA’s Floating Sea Camp program is guaranteed to be the highlight of your summer.

The benefits of coming to summer camp include learning social skills, self development, expanding your horizons, develop a personal love and appreciation for the environment, improved self esteem and a deep life transforming level of inspiration.

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Marine Biology Camps on Catalina Island California

The Most Desirable Cove on Catalina: Camp Emerald Bay

img_2400_zps61378fc9Emerald Bay is on the west end of the island and is home to one of the most popular marine biology camps on Catalina, run by Mountain and Sea Adventures. This cove is naturally protected by a small point and rocky reefs, creating a safe and calm estuary for marine life to thrive. The gentle ocean conditions allow campers with limited experience swimming to safely enjoy such activities as snorkeling, kayaking, and free time playing on the beach.

The facilities at Emerald Bay make it among the most elite marine biology camps on Catalina, with a fully functional salt water aquarium allowing campers to see more than four various local marine ecosystems, as well as the opportunity to pet a shark or ray in the shark touch tanks!

The very first activity upon arriving at class teaches students how to use a field journal and begin organizing their field research notes to form their own hypothesis and conclusions. Each class has a lecture phase and a corresponding field activity, allowing campers to develop a personal understanding and love for the world of natural sciences.

credit-annefmaben89Upon stepping off the boat, students are immediately surrounded in an the awe and beauty of one of California’s most cherished natural resources. The Channel Islands are only a short boat ride away from southern California coastal communities, but is so undeveloped and abundant in wildlife that it feels as if they have arrived to a distant and remote island paradise!

Emerald Bay is the most remote camp on the island and the furthest camp towards the west end. Which means campers staying here often see a lot of wild life, from deer to bison and the endemic Island Fox, found only on Catalina! Also frequently seen are bald and golden eagles, and a plethora of marine mammals, sea birds and other forms of both terrestrial and marine life.

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A Very Unique Catalina Island Camp – Mountain and Sea Adventures

A Life Changing Environmental Education Program

credit-annefmaben12Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) has been running Catalina Island camp programs since 1997, and has noticed that a student’s camp experience is one of the most important and transformational programs in their academic career. It is for this reason that the staff have focused a great deal of their efforts on encouraging youth to develop themselves and improve their self image by overcoming any fear or other obstacles they may face.

Being out in the great outdoors during an overnight camping trip to a remote destination such as Catalina Island camp allows youth to become fully immersed in their natural surroundings, where they can explore and learn about natural science.

Building Character In Youth

13631612_1062928540450839_6861299100847111435_nWhen youth come to camp on Catalina Island they are immediately placed outside of their comfort zones. There are no devices to distract their attention away from their incredible surroundings, allowing them to play and learn with each other to a deeper extent then they may have the opportunity to in their schools and homes. Being outside their comfort zones gives them the unique opportunity and challenge to develop various aspects of themselves, overcome limiting self beliefs, and feel safe to just be kids in the great outdoors!

Every class and program MSA teaches focuses on a particular character trait, such as courage, perseverance, and environmental stewardship. The staff and camp counselors are specially trained to inspire and encourage campers to face their fears and gradually overcome their limitations. By the time each student boards the ferry to head back home, they are walking with greater confidence and improved sense of self worth.

The Empowering Impact of a Camp Counselor

The bond that is created between students and their camp counselors is a unique one. Camp staff are usually graduated college students who take a year or two and come life the amazing lifestyle of Catalina Island camp. The fact that they are usually younger in age than most of their teachers makes the staff seem more like peers to the campers than their seniors. This gives the camp counselors a unique chance to inspire and speak greatness into the hearts of the campers in their class who look up to them.

Hands On Field Science Activities

IMG_2396_zps9508f396Another incredibly empowering and life-changing experience that each camper has is the full immersion into the world of marine biology and field science. Each student learns to keep a field journal during their first class upon arriving at camp. They are introduced to the scientific method and begin to engage in real field science research activities during each program session.

Hands on field science activities allow students to see the real magic in scientific research. Science becomes more real to them, and they soon see how it is a tool for observing and understanding their environment more thoroughly. Field biology allows students to engage with the natural world of the great outdoors in a way that fuels their imagination and wonder for life.

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Marine Biology Science Camp at Emerald Bay, Catalina Island

Emerald Bay – The Most Prestigious Cove On Catalina Island

credit-AnneFMaben37Hidden away on the west end of Catalina Island is Emerald Bay, the most desired destination on the island for yachters, divers, campers and nature enthusiasts alike. Emerald Bay has a wide diversity of island terrain and ecosystems. The cove itself is protected by a small point and rocky reef, with a few tiny little islands in the middle of the cove giving boaters protection from the ocean surge. There are multiple small sandy beaches, which are estuaries and habitats for various marine birds and island wildlife.

The Boy Scout camp at Emerald Bay serves as MSA’s premiere location for conducting outdoor education science camps on Catalina Island. Every week hundreds of school groups from across the southland are ferried in by boat from across the channel. During their time at camp students experience a wide variety of marine science activities such as trawling for plankton and then observing their findings under high-powered microscopes, squid dissections, kayaking, snorkeling and more. Each student gets the chance to live as field biologist and conduct actual field science research at one of the most beautiful locations in California.

MSA’s Marine Biology Camp Program At Emerald Bay

281818_155722767838092_7562355_nEmerald Bay is an incredible place to come for marine biology camp, students often time see more ocean wildlife just on the ferry over than in their entire life time. While traveling across the channel, campers get to see sea lions, dolphins and often times even grey and blue whales. Once they arrive at camp students are first taught how to keep a field journal as well as how to implement the scientific method for developing a hypothesis during their camp activities. The field journal becomes a treasured part of their camp experience, allowing them to develop their ideas and experiences during each program activity. The value of learning to keep a field journal is immense, as it takes the ideals of science from an impersonal academic subject to a living breathing aspect of their every day lives which they can use to immerse themselves deeper and deeper in the natural world. Now campers have learned to see the world through the eyes of a marine biologist, and have gained an appreciation for the scientific method and how to implement it for their own investigations.

A Unique Island Experience At Two Harbors, Catalina

For those groups looking for a less rustic and remote camp experience, the nearby island village of Two Harbors, Catalina, is a perfect compromise allowing access to a restaurant, general store and other facilities. Two Harbors has a beautiful long natural sandy beach with multiple snorkeling destinations offering a wide diversity of the marine life of Catalina. Two Harbors is also home to USC’s Wrigley Marine Institute, which has salt-water aquariums and the oldest protected cove on the island. MSA’s special arrangement with USC allows students to visit their resources and facilities for a unique marine biology experience.

natural-history-hike-catalina-islandTwo Harbors is easily accessible by ferry and is one of the lesser known about treasures of Catalina Island. Conveniently located at the isthmus, the back side of the island is less than half a mile away! The cove on back-side of Two Harbors is called Catalina Cove, and is home to the largest mud flats ecosystem in the Channel Island. This is a great place to come study the benthic marine animals, birds, rays and skates, and other marine animals that live in this natural estuary.

Why Bring Your Class To Catalina Island Science Camp

Science camp at Catalina Island is one the most cherished educational experiences youth experience during their academic careers. The memories they make during their time at camp enriches their lives and stays with them forever. Many times we hear back from students whom have gone through one of our programs to learn that they were inspired to become marine biologists or other high science professionals. This kind of amazing feedback is what we live for at MSA!

There is definitely something magical about the time youth spend at Catalina Island science camp, where they are safe to just be a kid and discover the natural world around them and all it’s wonder and beauty. It’s not always easy to remember the various lessons learned at school, but the lessons and experiences had at science camp consistently remain one of the greatest highlights and inspirational moments ever have.

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The Most Elite Marine Biology Sea Camp on Catalina Island

Both locals and visitors, alike, have described Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island as the most elite and desirable cove on the island. There is definitely something special about this spot, with its tropical like emerald bluish-green water, to the world class facilities and breathtaking natural scenery.

Why Emerald Bay Is The Most Desirable Cover on Catalina

189314_155784684498567_4411404_nEmerald Bay has been rated as one of the top three dive locations in California and among the most desirable spots for both scuba diving and snorkeling in the whole world. This is due to the awesome bio diversity that surrounds the cove, with lush kelp forests, rocky reefs and sandy bottom ecosystems.

This is a real treasure for first time snorkelers, whom get the chance to see many different species of marine life, from Garabaldi, kelp bass, Sheepshead, opaleye, and other fish, to leopard sharks, shovelnose guitarfish, bat rays, angel sharks, horn sharks, and plenty others.

Sometimes students get the opportunity to play with sea lions, which are just as curious about the children as they are of them. Such interactions with nature and wildlife impart a deep love and appreciation for the natural world of marine sciences.

An Outdoor Education Program Unlike Any Other

credit-AnneFMaben12Mountain and Sea Adventure’s (MSA) program at Emerald Bay is unlike any other program on Catalina, or the whole world, as it combines actual hands-on field biology research with character building. Students have the chance to participate in activities, such as snorkeling and kayaking, that push them to the boundaries of their comfort zones. The MSA staff encourages and supports each student, and utilizes such challenges as an opportunity to impart character and display altruistic values, such as courage, perseverance, and environmental stewardship.

MSA’s program displays how field science can becomes a chance for students to explore the natural world more deep, and immerse themselves more fully in experiencing their environment.

Building Character in Youth

In the process of going beyond their previous limitations and what they considered possible for themselves, the self-esteem and self-image of each student is greatly improved. Courage is taken up again and again to break all fears, inhibitions and aversions, allowing students to prove to themselves that they truly can achieve what ever they set their minds on, and are capable of achieving greatness in any area of life they chose.

By the end of their camp experience, each student has gained a valuable perspective on life – that they can become what ever they chose, and can attain whatever goals they set their sights on.

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How MSA Inspires Youth To Dream Big and Reach For The Stars

credit-AnneFMaben67Our Central Theme: Break Your Fears!

When students come out to Mountain and Sea Adventure’s life-changing outdoor education program on Catalina Island, or Big Bear, they have the opportunity to explore their talents and abilities in a safe environment, allowing them to overcome their fears and inhibitions with the support of their instructors, teachers and peers.

What holds people back from reaching their fullest potential and living the life of their dreams? Fear manifests in many ways, from fear of failure to fear of success. Many times people fear that they are not worthy of success, and set their own limits for what they are capable of achieving.

MSA’s program is unlike any other; giving students the opportunity to do many activities they may have never had the chance to experience for themselves. Activities such as snorkeling and kayaking gently push students to the boundaries of their comfort zone, where the MSA staff then supports and encourages them towards achieving what they previously thought they were incapable of. Even something as simple as putting on a wetsuit, strapping a snorkel on to your face, and taking your first breath with your head submerged in the water is enough to shatter paradigms and inspire youth to continue surpassing their own limitations.

Perseverance: Never Give Up!

credit-AnneFMaben58So often in life we start out on a new endeavor with great enthusiasm and hope, but how often do we finish what we start with the same amount of zeal? Perseverance is incredibly vital for achieving our ambitions and fulfilling our greatest potential.

The MSA staff teaches students to harness their enthusiasm and excitement by choosing a pace they know they can maintain, to avoid burning themselves out, and the importance of setting small achievable benchmarks along the way towards manifesting their overall goals.

Activities such as hiking and kayaking provide the ideal setting to drive these points home, and impart a personal experience that makes it real and remains with the student forever.

A Transformational Camp Experience

People learn and grow the fastest when they are placed outside their comfort zones, and have the guidance necessary to overcome all resistance. MSA’s science camp program provides just the venue for such personal growth to occur, with the MSA staff there to encourage and inspire each student to reach for the stars and achieve greatness.

Campers encourage each other to overcome their inhibitions to the unfamiliar world of snorkeling!

Campers encourage each other to overcome their inhibitions to the unfamiliar world of snorkeling!

In the process of the camp program, students overcome their own fears that were previously holding them back, and they prove to themselves again and again that they can indeed do what they previously thought they could not.

With the positive reinforcement of their teachers, camp instructors and classmates, students are repeatedly given structured opportunities to achieve greatness, and to surpass their own limitations and self-expectations.

Building Self Esteem and a Healthy Self Image

The result of the MSA camp experience is an improved self-image for all whom attend, from students to teachers and chaperones. For some, just coming out to camp and roughing it with their students for a week reminds them that they are indeed cut out for greatness! If this can improve your own self-confidence, just imagine what it does for your students!

Students thrive from their camp experience. After proving to themselves that they are greater than their fears, can achieve greatness on a daily basis, and accomplish can accomplish anything they set their mind to, the self image and self esteem of each camper is improved drastically.

With a greater sense of self, the lives of each student are enriched in every way. Students perform better in their studies, choose healthy friendships, and inspire others to achieve personal greatness, as well.

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Keeping A Field Journal: How To Transform Your Students Into Scientists

In the process of developing an educated appreciation for science, students use their field journals to take the scientific method into their own hands and make it a very real part of their individual lives. In this way, the field journal serves as the vehicle for developing a personal appreciation and love for science.

credit-AnneFMaben59Developing A Personal Appreciation And Love For Science

The field journal becomes the instrument that students of science use to capture their insights and other thoughts while out in the field. They are then able to ponder and interpret what they are observing into their own theories and ideas about the natural world, developing one more testable hypothesis to bring their concepts into reality.

The whole scientific method becomes an adventurous process of heightening sensitivity and deepening the student’s awareness and experience of the environment they are researching. Soon the natural world reveals its splendor and wonder, captivating the student and peaking their interest. The field journal then becomes the intermediary between raw experience and scientific analysis.

The student quickly discovers that the most important research equipment they have is their own mind and the field journal. All other technology is only complimentary.

The Field Journal

credit-AnneFMaben8As soon as students arrive at one of Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) programs on Catalina Island or Big Bear they are immediately introduced to how to set up, organize and keep a field journal. It is always a joy for the MSA staff to see the transformation that happens between the first class, when students reluctantly participate in what they perceive to be ‘just another school class’, to when they turn in their journals at the end of their camp experience, sometimes frantically requesting the instructors to be sure to return their journals promptly!

The field journal is a valuable tool for seeing your thoughts develop and evolve over time. This further engages the student and inspires them to immerse themselves further in their research, with a greater awareness and appreciation for the utility of the field journal.

Personalizing Our Experiences

One of the most valuable aspects of the field journal is in the way it takes an impersonal class lecture and gives it a vehicle for personal application. Now the students can listen to each new lecture with deeper interest, knowing that they will be able to apply what has been taught to their own observations and experiences in the field. Learning is no longer second-hand and based on what has already been written in texts books, but becomes a living breathing component of their lives that they can translate into their own personal writings. From a hypothesis to a theory to a scientific law, the writing that takes place in the student’s field journal gradually evolves.

credit-AnneFMaben71A Catapult For The Imagination

Many students often mistakenly think that science is cold and analytical, when the truth is that good science provides a foundation for the creative faculties, such as imagination, to unravel and reveal the untold mysteries of the natural world.

In this way, science is much like any other art form. Just like with music or fine art, the instruments, brushes and other tools are only the catalyst for the creative expression of the mind. In the same way, a field biologist utilizes many forms of technology, yet considers the imagination to be the first and most important laboratory.

Bringing Imagination To Reality

Scientists are like big kids; both spend most of their time engaged in elaborate imagination. Science can be seen as the ultimate venue for the imagination, where it is empowered to express its fullest potential. However, one of the most exciting things of all is that science is not limited to the realm of mere fantasy; but is focused on bringing thought into the material plane of measurable application.

In this way, a field biologist is constantly updating their mental vision by testing various hypothesis and analyzing the results as they unfold in the field. Eventually the scientist first discovers the theory in their imagination before explaining it, and finally proving it in a controlled environment.

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Learning The Scientific Method With Field Biology Activities

IMG_2396_zps9508f396Once the tools have been imparted, the scientific method provides a platform for immersing your self in the natural world more deeply, and allowing the creativity of the imagination to reach its apex. A science teacher, in this sense, is the one who reveals the grand wonder of the natural world to the student, and imparts a process for experiencing nature more fully.

How To Teach The Scientific Method To Children

Children have a natural inquisitiveness, and a great potential to allow their imaginations to guide them into deeper and deeper levels of inquiry and observation of the natural world around them.

This sense of wonder and inquiry that characterizes youth is a great resource for any field biologist, inspiring them to investigate their surroundings with a probing curiosity. There is literally no limit on what a scientist can arouse interest in and make the subject of further research; one is only limited by their own sense of wonder. In this sense, children have a unique capacity to take the world of natural science to its highest point.

A Platform For Imaginative Exploration

Good field science not only involves collecting, organizing and analyzing date; but requires a healthy and vivid imagination in order to notice the interrelationships between various patterns, and their hidden implications. Therefore, natural sciences can be seen as the ideal platform to allow the imagination to reach its fullest potential as the catalyst for scientific discovery.

The Field Journal

credit-AnneFMaben8Once the basic foundational scientific methods and practices have been learned, youth can then apply their curiosity and intrigue for exploring nature in a way that is most fulfilling. The main tool field biologists use to achieve this is the field journal, which allows them to apply the scientific method towards organizing the revealing the patterns of their observations.

One of the first things students learn when they embark on their outdoor education experience at science camp with Mountain and Sea Adventures is how to keep a field journal. This is kept with them for the duration of their stay, and quickly becomes one of their most valued possessions.

Students develop a personal attachment to their field journals once they begin recording their findings, theories and thoughts. The MSA staff encourages students to develop thoughtful conclusions and a hypothesis for each program activity they participate in.

This single week at camp provides a lifetime worth of inspiration and appreciation for field science, and demonstrates how to make the field journal a valuable addition to their lives as they learn to observe, ponder and describe their natural environment more and more acutely.

Immersing Your Students In Natural Sciences

credit-AnneFMaben15Now that your students have discovered the value of keeping a field journal, you can structure opportunities for them to become increasingly more immersed in the fascinating world of natural sciences. Gradually students discover just how fun and exciting learning really is, when they are given the reins to their own process of scientific exploration and discovery.

Now you are entering a very exciting level of science education, where the most mundane and over-looked specimen can become the subject of deep inquiry and investigation. The caterpillar crawling along the window seal, or the condensation gathering on the outside of a student’s water bottle. Every thing that we commonly take for granted and fail to notice can become the topic of great interest, as students observe, notice patterns and interrelationships between habitat factors, and use their critical factor to develop their own theories about what they have seen.

Field Science Activities On Your Own Campus

Once you begin opening your eyes to the resources and opportunities everywhere around you, you and your students will discover there is no end to what you can become curious about and make the topic of further scientific investigation.

One of the most important understanding to impart to students is that not only is science not a cold analytical process relegated to sterile laboratory environments, but it is an approach to experiencing life more intimately, observing your surroundings more keenly and applying your imagination to it’s fullest potential.

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How To Bring The Excitement Of Outdoor Education Into Your Classroom

The world of natural science is full of adventure and excitement, where youth can take their own ideas and theories about the world and apply them for real tangible results that they can actually observe for themselves.

Learning Science Is Exciting And Adventurous

What is it about coming out to science camp on Catalina Island with Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) that excites students, and sparks a lifelong love for the marine environment and world of natural sciences?

281903_155788194498216_6599672_nOutdoor education merely teaches youth how to open their eyes to perceiving the grand beauty of the natural world all around them. Field science becomes the vehicle for students to immerse themselves deeper and deeper in their awe-inspiring surroundings. Soon any aversion to academic learning is replaced by an ever-increasing urge to enjoy the fun activities of their outdoor educational experience.

In this sense, outdoor education is one of the most important academic experiences for youth, for it reveals to them that learning is not only fun, but also one of the most exciting endeavors they can embark upon.

Learning To See The Wonder Of Nature

Children love to play and make believe, exploring and discovering their environment in a way they never tire of. Natural sciences takes this exploratory sense of adventure in youth to its zenith, by showing them that there are no limits to what they can discover and learn through their own field research.

credit-AnneFMaben82The scientific method is the process of learning to ask the right questions, to have that same sense of wonder that a child has, so that you can set all your pre-existing ideas aside and arrive at your own understandings based on your own experience.

In fact, science is the last frontier of creative thought – where the inventive imagination of the left-brain meets the intellectual analysis of the right brain.

Rather than teaching your students that science is about definite laws, encourage them to see science as a field of limitless possibilities where they can bring their ideas and theories into the material world.

Immersing Your Students In The World Of Natural Sciences

The beautiful thing about studying natural sciences is that you do not have to wait until you are in a nature preserve or other exotic location to begin immersing your students. In fact, the natural world is all around us, all the time! Even when sitting in the classroom, the natural world is still unfolding its wonder.

Of course, you don’t have to stay in your classroom; even a short visit to your sports field or one of the plazas on your campus can be an exciting opportunity to immerse them in field biology.

Preparing Your Students For Their Outdoor Education Camp Experience

10302054_682080205202343_289783729261922074_nJust a few visits to the natural surroundings in their own school campus can prime your students for more, empowering them to begin seeing the world around them through the eyes of a field scientist.

By the time your students make it out to camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island, or Camp Oakes in Big Bear, they have a head start on field biology that allows them to take full advantage of their incredible resources at camp, and to enjoy MSA’s life changing program to its fullest potential.

Bringing It Home: Implementing Your Camp Experience Into Your Classroom

By the time your students complete their camp experience and return to school, they have had their perspectives and ideas about science transformed. Science has now become a living breathing part of their life, a tool that they can use to increase their love and appreciation of the natural world.

Natural science does not begin when the school bell rings, and it does not end when they leave campus at the day’s end. When given the right perspective by their teachers, youth can come to see how their entire life is a laboratory for scientific research and experimentation.

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