R. Roger Rowe School to celebrate 20th annual Ocean Weeks

The Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation is proud to support the 20th annual Ocean Weeks at R. Roger Rowe School.  Assemblies in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) will launch the celebration on Monday, May 21, with an original musical by Maureen Cassarino, “A Coral Line,” set design and performances by 8th grade students.  During the following two-week celebration, classrooms and science labs will be transformed into ocean realms, and students will engage in a variety of ocean-related experiences.  Fourth graders will create kelp forest wonderlands.  Fifth graders will study the open ocean, and the mysterious giant squid while dissecting (and tasting!) their local cousins.  All K-8 students will participate in habitat-themed activities over the two weeks, rotating through exciting, hands-on lessons led by teachers at their grade level.

In addition to classroom activities, students will take their ocean exploration out into the field with adventures like the second grade’s “Beach Teach” at La Jolla Shores, the 6th graders’ study of renewable resources at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, and the 7th grade tour of Sea World’s polar seas exhibits.  Visitors will include Scripps researcher Ben Grupe, offering middle school students a look at his recent deep-sea exploration off Chile. Third grade students will learn about “Wetlands in Peril” from Scripps research scientist Simon Freeman.  The RSF Library will host an “Earth Dome presentation” for all K-6 students, launching their summer reading program.

The school will be festooned with an “Under-the Sea” theme for the Ocean Open House on May 30 from 5:30-7 p.m. featuring student artwork and ocean murals.  Parents and students will be treated to an ocean-inspired concert, and exhibits will include live ocean animals from Birch Aquarium, an inflatable whale from Sea World, and the San Diego Diver will feature scuba programs and equipment.  Tables staffed with student-docents will highlight the habitats featured at each grade level;  kindergarten will feature a pond exhibit, 1st grade the rocky seashore, 2nd grade sandy beach, 3rd grade wetlands, 4th grade kelp forests, 5th grade open ocean, 6th grade coral reef, 7th grade polar seas, and 8th grade the deep sea.  A demonstration pool featuring 8th grade Tech 21 student-built ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) will be featured, along with a table highlighting the Go Green Club’s sale of waste-free lunch ware.

Ocean Weeks are the year-long culmination of an ocean study partnership with the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, incorporating ocean concepts into the K-8 curriculum from UC Berkeley’s Lawrence-Hall of Science and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.   This dynamic, inquiry-based science program where students explore earth, life, and physical science, integrating language arts, music, and visual arts, through the lens of marine science, has been at the core of RSF’s Ocean Week program for the past 20 years.  Roberta Dean, a co-founder of the program, and former education specialist from the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, coordinates the Scripps Ocean Partnership.

The Scripps Ocean Partnership is supported by the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation through the generous contributions of parents and community partners.  Ocean Weeks are an excellent example of how the RSFEF contributes to the differentiation at the Rancho Santa Fe School through exposing and integrating science into our children’s day to day lives.  Ocean science will be part of their futures.

For more information and a full schedule of events, please visit the Ddistrict’s website, www.rsfschool.net.

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