Despite a stormy forecast, more than 200 teachers and educators attended the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s sixth-annual Coastal Learning Symposium in Newport on Friday October 14. The Aquarium invited pre-K through 12th grade educators, informal educators, higher-education professionals and others to come together to share and refine their skills for using the ocean, forest and community as a context for learning across grades and subjects.
With rain, high winds and dangerous surf expected throughout the day, several of the event’s outdoor field trips were cancelled beforehand due to safety concerns. The rain failed to materialize, however, and attendees enjoyed bright and blustery fall weather at the Symposium’s numerous venues: the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon Coast Community College, and other locales in or around Newport.
Workshops and presentations covered topics across a broad array of fields and disciplines, focusing on everything from solar energy and sea star wasting syndrome to deep-sea acoustics and best practices for outdoor education. “This year’s Symposium was a joy to watch. I was gratified to meet so many passionate, dedicated educators working towards creating a more ocean-literate and environmentally-aware society,” said Sara Shaw Roberts, School Liaison for the Oregon Coast Aquarium and organizer of this event.
“We were lucky that the weather cooperated with us, so that many participants were able to explore some of our local natural resources such as Yaquina Head and Beverly Beach State Park,” said Roberts. “I think we were successful in our goal of inspiring meaningful connections to the Oregon coast and all it has to offer.”