On Board the OSV BOLD: A Science Lesson, Outside the Classroom

About the author: Brenda Reyes Tomassini joined EPA in 2002. She is a public affairs specialist in the San Juan, Puerto Rico office and also handles community relations for the Caribbean Environmental Protection Division.

February 20, 2009 – 8:20 am (Day 12)

In a previous blog titled “52 Ways to Save the Environment, Part II”, I suggested teachers and educators to take their lesson outside of the classroom to put their students in direct contact with nature. Yesterday, around 550 people, including nearly 30 teachers and many students, from the western side of the island came to have a science lesson outside of the classroom during EPA’s Open Ship event in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

image of teens surrounding testing equipmentStudents learned about the ship’s layout and latest technology, and had the opportunity to ask scientists, EPA personnel from the San Juan Office, and University of Puerto Rico professor’s questions. All of us gladly shared our knowledge and experiences and spoke about life aboard the Bold, as well as many of our every day duties as environmental protection professionals.

I wish I had had the opportunity when I was growing up that these students were given yesterday. Science is fascinating even when taught from a book, but it really comes alive when you can see it in action. In most environmental science careers, people get to bring together science and creativity to work towards a greater good, protecting ecosystems and people’s health.

I hope that many of the students that participated in the Open Ship yesterday get a new perspective on science and with our shared experiences pursue a career in the environmental protection field.