LA2050

Altasea is Educating the Next Generation of Ocean and Sustainability Experts

Posted July 25, 2017 by Altasea

AltaSea and its network of STEM educators are helping make Los Angeles the best place to learn, working with young Angelenos to underscore the importance of our oceans in building sustainable lives for us all. AltaSea has assembled a dynamic and diverse group of partner organizations that have delivered ocean-based STEM lessons to more than 350 LAUSD students, with exciting programs including and not limited to: the Ocean Exploration Trust, Catalina Sea Ranch, Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI), and Blue Robotics.

Altasea's STEM Network on the LA Waterfront is delivering hands-on ocean exploration, providing young minds with thrilling and eye-opening experiences with cutting-edge science and technology. Students hear from accomplished scientists, tech innovators and entrepreneurs in Blue Tech, experiences that can shape lives and career choices.

Thus far, AltaSea has:

  • Provided 118 Dana Middle School students with tours of the E/V Nautilus via their partnership with Ocean Exploration Trust (OET). The E/V Nautilus is the exploration ship responsible for undersea discoveries such as the wreckage of John F. Kennedy's PT-109 and the WWII German battleship Bismarck. The students also met with scientists and engineers about to head to sea for an expedition.
  • Introduced students to aquaculture thanks to workshops at Catalina Sea Ranch. The program showed students how the company breeds the fastest-growing and strongest mussels at the first US offshore shellfish farm.

Later in the year:

  • Los Angeles Maritime Institute will welcome students aboard its Tall Ships this fall for its Topsail program. In the meantime, the institute came to AltaSea offices to teach knot-tying and about the effects of micro plastics on sea life.
  • Blue Robotics will teach students about Remote-Operated Vehicles in the waters just off AltaSea's wharf.

AltaSea's initial efforts have spawned new partnerships and programs that will further expand our network, such as:

  • The Boys and Girls Club of the Los Angeles Harbor, who will expand joint efforts through a pending grant from the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation. The grant will inspire sustainable careers in blue tech for the area's workforce, careers that can support innovation at the port for years to come.
  • Collaborative opportunities with other My LA2050 grant winners, such as the Surf Bus Foundation. Together, AltaSea and Surf Bus will bring students to the L.A. waterfront for ocean-oriented STEM programs this summer.

This ambitious array of STEM-related ocean education and experiences will, of course, ultimately be evaluated against a range of metrics to ensure it effectively delivers on its promise to the students, families, educators and others affected. Altasea is conducting student surveys before and after workshops to define success measures, and is developing a tracking system to keep students involved with our network. Our best success measure will be years in the making, as we educate and inspire students to become champions for a sustainable ocean and planet, to take more STEM classes, and to pursue careers that can help sustain our oceans and indeed, our planet.