In the Classroom
At Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, we believe that the creative arts are a vital tool to learn about issues impacting our environment, connect more deeply with nature, and bring communities together to care for our blue planet. Our Future Blue programming teaches ocean conservation through creative investigating and making.
“I like doing creative things, and when it is combined with something I am passionate about, like environmental activism, then it really makes me happy. This program was the right combination of creativity and helping nature.”
Ocean Staircase Mural
Working with a sixth-grade art class, we helped bring students’ designs to life on a large staircase that leads to Collins Middle School in Salem, Massachusetts. Individuals using the staircase “enter” the ocean at the foot of the stairs and travel “deeper” as they climb up. Along the way they encounter many inhabitants of local waters, as well as traces of human impact. Through this mural, we sought to communicate to generations of Salem community members how, as residents of a coastal city, they have a relationship with, and therefore impact on, local water systems. By participating in an interdisciplinary project such as this mural, the students were empowered to make positive changes for their futures by creating beautiful and meaningful spaces in their local communities. This project was supported by the Salem Public Art Commission and the Salem Rotary Club.
MIT’s High School Studies Program
We led “Ocean STEAM and Plastic Pollution: Exploring Art, Science, and Advocacy” for MIT’s High School Studies Program (HSSP), a summer course focusing on using art as a tool to effectively communicate, educate, and advocate for environmental and ocean stewardship. Students investigated the issue of oceanic plastic pollution and crafted their own “ARTivist” messages through film, creative writing, poetry, painting, and sculpture.
High School Marine Science Symposium
At this event sponsored by Massachusetts Marine Educators and the Northeastern University Marine Science Center, we directed a hands-on workshop in which students discussed sustainable fisheries, learned about making art with a message, and practiced “gyotaku,” a traditional Japanese form of fish printing.
Storm Drain Murals
We partnered with Salem Sound Coastwatch and For Kids Only Afterschool to bring art into their science summer program at Bates Elementary School in Salem, Massachusetts. Students demonstrated their learning through books, board games, and posters, and participants also painted a storm drain mural on their school’s campus, illustrating how our streets are connected to Salem’s ponds, rivers, and harbor.
We also taught Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Troop 66295 in Billerica, Massachusetts, about plastic pollution as part of the Troop’s Wonders of Water Journey. The Brownies then designed storm drain murals and messages to illustrate what they learned.
We love working with teachers and informal educators in any discipline who want to combine ocean literacy and the creative arts in the classroom (or beyond!). Please connect with us with your suggestions, questions, or ideas for collaborating!Contact Us