Port of San Diego Helps CVESD Students

Port of San Diego Helps Students Become Environmental Stewards & Scientists
Posted on 12/02/2022
Kids on Trail

The Port of San Diego awarded the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) $47,200 for its Coastal Education (CE)girl looking in binoculars Program, which is located at the Living Coast Discovery Center. The funding will be used to provide admission, transportation, and instructional supplies over the next three school years. The program supports students in becoming stewards of their environment, which includes the San Diego Bay, through local wildlife interactions at the Living Coast Discovery Center.

Since January 2010, funding from the Port of San Diego has made it possible for more than 49,000 students from nearly 2,000 classes to attend a CE Program. During the pandemic, their funding also supported live virtual programming for over 2,800 students from nearly 135 classes. This continued funding support from the Port of San Diego helps to remove major obstacles to these experiences, such as admission and transportation costs. During the next three years, the funding from the Port will enable nearly 15,000 CVESD students to access one of our 24 different programs. “We are so grateful for the Port of San Diego’s continued support in helping to bring these experiences to life for so many of our students. It is truly amazing to see how engaged students are during these programs and how excited they are to take on the roles of scientists,” said Dr. Matthew Tessier, Assistant Superintendent of Innovation and Instruction.

four kids working togetherThrough our 24 different programs that focus on environmental stewardship, interconnected ecosystems, and watershed and habitats, students from transitional kindergarten through 8th grade have opportunities to engage with their environment and local animal ambassadors. For example, some students participate in a beach clean-up at the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. Others use microscopes to analyze plankton that provide clues indicating an ecosystem's health. Other students use local trails to go on hikes to observe and investigate how local wildlife interacts with their habitat. Regardless of the program, all students have a hands-on encounter with animals such as crabs, snakes, stingrays, and more. “With our unique location and direct access to the San Diego Bay (and its local wildlife), the experiences we offer provide a wide range of opportunities for students to connect with nature and become stewards of their environment,” adds Karen Quirós, the Science Resource Teacher for the Coastal Education Program.

Within each of our programs, students can see themselves as future biologists, ecologists, and many other potential careers, as they take on these roles throughout the day. To sustain their career interests beyond their trip here, all students receive a career badge that describes that particular career in great detail.

To measure the effectiveness of the program, students’ science knowledge is tested both before and after participation. Over the past 12 years, our students have shown an 18% increase in their knowledge due to their CEP experience.



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