August 13, 2013
Each August for more than a decade, the Aquarium of the Pacific has hosted the Boeing Teachers Institute (BTI) to give teachers in Southern California hands-on science experience and marine science knowledge they can share with their students. Participants spend two days at the Aquarium and three days on Catalina Island at the University of Southern California’s Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies.
Boeing Teachers Institute allows participants to meet scientists, learn how to use data in the classroom, and access resources that will allow them to bring current marine science into their classrooms during the school year. In addition to a tour of the Aquarium, participating teachers go snorkeling and kayaking, take hikes on Catalina, explore mudflats, tour a hyperbaric chamber, and attend lectures on marine science topics. Each teacher receives an eight-gallon aquarium to set up in his or her classroom and access to an online professional development community at the end of the five-day BTI session.
During the session held August 1 through August 5 this year, thirty kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers went snorkeling and saw lobsters, bioluminescent plankton, and horn sharks. They also built remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), learned about oyster aquaculture, and met with scientists who shared their expertise.
BTI is sponsored by the Boeing Company and Reef-One Inc. – biOrbs. Bookmark the Aquarium’s Teacher Resources webpage to be alerted when applications for the 2014 BTI session become available.
Several teachers provided their feedback after participating in BTI:
These experiences and the many discussions that occurred with peers and educators at the Boeing Teacher Institute have inspired me to further educate my kindergarten students. Using the many connections established in this program and my personal experiences, I can better relay the impact my young students and their families have on our ocean systems.
Betty Aguilar, St. Anthony of Padua School
This five-day event exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds, and gave me a chance to experience firsthand the acquiring of knowledge in an amazing setting with people of like mind. Rest assured that this program is at the absolute top of the list for teacher participants and interest. Thank you again for the opportunity of a lifetime.
Charlene Sun, Sussman Middle School
With the knowledge I learned, pictures I took, and the cool fish tank I was so generously given, I feel I am already going to be able to give my students more than I ever could before…up-to-date knowledge of research and of how the environment affects our oceans.
Dena Azzolin, Vista del Monte Elementary School
BTI also allowed me to meet some amazing K-12 educators. They have inspired me to rethink my teaching practice and continue to hone my craft. Their experiences, curiosity, and engagement in teaching was infectious!
Sarah Molfese, Larchmont Charter School
As scientists, docents and researchers who have become experts in educating the public, they have inspired me as an educator to become an expert in scientific topics. Science and education are now inseparable, thanks to institutions like the Aquarium of the Pacific and Boeing, and that is a long-term benefit to society.
Tom Louie, Miramonte Elementary School
This Institute and the people behind it will make an impact in my teaching for years to come. Thank you for allowing the opportunity as a powerful investment in me, and ultimately my students’ life to make stronger and more motivated scientists in the next generation!
Travis Garwick, Willis Warner Middle School