With the goal of introducing high school students to hands-on scientific research, Whittier College student mentors and nine Pioneer High School students visited the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium recently as part of the Center for Engagement with Communities' (CEC) Artemis Project.
After exploring the aquarium, veteran marine biologist Anne Maben led the group on an educational tour of nearby Point Fermin State Marine Park. The Artemis Project participants experienced a full day of exploring, learning, and gathering data for further research, which will take place on the Whittier College campus during follow-up workshops.
“The students were given the opportunity to explore a diversity of plants and animals that manage to live in the rigorous environment,” explained Maben. “The day was planned around the low-tide in order for the participants to have optimal observation and collection of the data to be used in their research projects."
“Some of the participants mentioned that they had 'never seen anything like it' as they jumped from rock to rock identifying sea anemones, hermit crabs, limpets and other seashore animals and plants,” added Patricia Pint, CEC Service Learning Coordinator.
According to CEC staff member Amber Orozco '13 "programs like the Artemis Project are imperative in connecting young people to a form of nature that they do not necessarily have in their own backyard. Students gain this exposure through fieldwork, where they also develop the foundational tools in understanding and addressing serious environmental issues facing our oceans."
The Artemis Project, coordinated by the CEC and funded by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), is an experiential college-readiness project focused on guiding high-school aged young women who are interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, in making informed decisions when selecting a college major and applying to for college.