Initiated as a pilot project ( Jan 2023 - June 2023) in Deerfield Beach, "Sea the Reef" brought together youth for a unique environmental learning adventure. Within the confines of a maker lab, students transformed marine debris into captivating art pieces. This program went beyond science learning education, aiming to not only impart knowledge about marine conservation but also to actively involve participants in a hands-on collaborative public art installation. Furthermore, a series of immersive field trips provided them with the opportunity to intimately explore South Florida's coastal blue spaces. A first-time experience for many.
At the heart of the pilot project were the maker lab experiences, a dedicated space where students were empowered to unleash their creativity and skills. Here, they tackled the pressing issue of marine debris and its profound implications for on coral reefs.
Connecting learners with environmental issues requires not only science but also art. The program encompassed a series of marine ecology lessons and engaging coral-sculpting workshops. A cross-disciplinary project that draws from scientific research and temporary clay installations to start a dialogue about sea level rise and its impact on the environment. Students learn about the issues coral reefs confront today: coral bleaching, plastic pollution, and ocean acidification.
Through this pilot project youth didn't just learn about environmental issues – they actively addressed them through art and innovation.
A Grant Funded Pilot Project
Thanks to the support of the Vela Fund, the pilot idea found support. The one time grant enabled us to onboard a diverse group of educators, each with unique skill sets that reflect the community we serve. Their collective contributions enriched the learning experience for teenagers, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone involved.
We thank the City of Deerfield Teen Center for generously providing us with both the space and a dedicated team to support our project. Every Tuesday, we hosted engaging environmental art sessions in their teen center.
We thank Surf Skate Science for their incredible efforts in tailoring outdoor exploration activities. These experiences gradually exposed our students to the unique marine environment of South Florida, enriching their understanding of and connection to the local ecosystem.
The organization thoughtfully organized a series of field trips that seamlessly aligned with our mission of advancing environmental education. These monthly excursions were crafted to complement the students' environmental art learning journey. The organization curated a diverse range of enriching experiences, including beach cleanups, onshore beach snorkeling adventures at Phil Foster Park, visit to the Marine Lab , thrilling glass-bottom boat excursions, and visits to the NSU coral lab. Furthermore, students engaged in a unique floating classroom experience with SeaKeepers.
These excursions offered invaluable educational experiences, nurturing a profound sense of curiosity and a deep connection to the marine environment. We have brought this chapter with the organization to a close, we wish them the best.
We express our gratitude to Sam, a permaculture educator and small business owner, for joining us on the education journey and introducing students to the fascinating world of permaculture and hydroponics. Every Tuesday, our teens had the privilege of experiencing farm-to-table recipes crafted by Sam, indulging in delicious smoothies that showcased sustainable food production. See student's garden in a bucket, here.
Coral Playhouse Capstone Project
Teens invited members of the community to embark on an immersive environmental art workshop. Calling upon the public to join in creating a mesmerizing aerial image on the shore to shed light on the profound impact of human actions on our coral reefs.
The event raised awareness and advocated for the protection of our oceans. Featuring the captivating "Coral Playhouse," an awe-inspiring creation that served as the centerpiece of the event. The temporary art installation aimed to transport visitors to "see our oceans" and interact with the multicolored sculptures resembling a coral reef.
The public was encouraged to take home their own coral sculptures as a memento of the ongoing art activation. By bridging the gap between art and advocacy, the graduation art show ignited a sense of urgency, empathy, and responsibility within the community for the protection of these fragile ecosystems.
Thankful to photographer Simon Plestenjak for proving aerial images and capturing our graduation celebration.
We were delighted to feature a lineup of esteemed speakers at our "Graduation" event. These accomplished individuals generously shared their expertise, insights, and inspiring stories, transforming this occasion into a truly unforgettable and empowering experience for our graduating students.
The combined wisdom, achievements, and unwavering passion for their fields undoubtedly left an indelible mark, instilling in our students the drive to chase their aspirations and create a significant impact in the realm of STEM.
Visit their graduation message, here.
Thank you to Revolutionary Hearts Industry, Dr. Brinson and Robert Boyd.
Pilot Project Completed
The pilot project has successfully come to an end, and the one-time grant has concluded. It brings us immense joy to acknowledge these milestones. To support their ongoing creative journeys, students received technology scholarships and art materials.
We express our gratitude to all those who were involved in this journey. Great end of an amazing experience.
The conclusion of this project has only strengthened our environmental commitment to our community of learners.
We look forward to new adventures, setting sail as creatives, discovering new ways to create impact. We are committed to a greener planet and cleaner ocean.
Follow us, here and learn more on our new adventures.