Engaging In Immersion-Based Learning

I’m writing to you on Wednesday night from a rather unusual location this week – Port Isobel Island in the Chesapeake Bay! We have just returned from stargazing after a night hike through a bamboo forest.

Our Grade 8 students venture to this area of the Chesapeake Bay every year to learn about its rapidly transforming ecosystem and conservation. The students study the marine life and local ecosystem for several months prior to the trip and make wonderful connections to their learning during their experience.

It’s also a tremendous community-building opportunity, replete with valuable life skills for our Dragons to learn. Over the years, I’ve taken some practices away from this trip and incorporated them into my family’s routine. Almost weekly during dinner, our boys will hear Sandy or I state, “No SLOP (Stuff Left On Plate).” This is a concept the Chesapeake Bay Foundation teaches our students. It not only teaches us not to waste food, but it also aids the plate-cleaning process so we use less water.

Our trip itinerary changes according to the weather and the tide, just like the life of the fishermen upon whom the local economy is built. Here are just a few of the wonderful learning experiences we have had today:

  • Setting and collecting crabpots
  • Investigating oysters
  • Scraping the underwater grasses to search for critters
  • Learning about the waterman culture

Tomorrow we have another big day ahead of us, and I’m looking forward to even more adventures. The next time you see a Grade 8 student, make sure you ask them about the impact this incredible trip has had on them!

Danny Vogelman

Head of School