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Chesapeake Academy News

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Gavin Simpson explains the variety of pollutants that endanger the Chesapeake Bay at Chesapeake Academy’s Florida Keys Symposium. The symposium is designed for students to present the culminating reports of their research throughout the year and the actual field study.

“Because it matters,” is the answer Chesapeake Academy Head of School Julianne Duvall offers when asked about the amount of student time and intensive research that go into the school’s Florida Keys Symposium presentations on the comparative field study between the Chesapeake Bay and the Florida Keys. “It is not enough to take a stand for the Bay . . . or for our fishing industries or the recreational boating industry or for promoting strong economic returns from our waters. Effective and lasting solutions can only be crafted by people with a deep understanding of the components of complex problems who are able to collaborate and continue to collaborate to accomplish a goal. The best strategies will be formed by understanding competing points of view deeply. Preserving the Chesapeake Bay is just the sort of world challenge our students will inherit. Chesapeake Academy students are learning to investigate and unravel an intricate web of cause and effect and be patient and persistent with complicated issues that fail to present simple solutions.”

Chesapeake Academy Science Teacher Robin Blake agrees, “Citizen science mattered to former head of school Henry Selby when he started the trip in 1992 with a passion for preserving delicate marine ecosystems, and it mattered to Doc Hunter who spent years developing the marine science thread at Chesapeake Academy, and it matters even more now. Rigor, persistence, and great coaching from our teachers can transform concern into educated advocacy. We prepared for a long time to craft a research experience to challenge and develop our students. Our scholarship needs to be top notch because that is what prepares our students to tackle complex problems of all sorts. It is Chesapeake Academy’s mission. And we hope that this training in critical thinking and problem solving will set future generations up to do a better job of advocating for our waterways than we have done.”

Keynote speaker Kayla Deur from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center Educational Program opened the symposium by outlining the Foundation’s work monitoring the health of Chesapeake Bay and issuing the biennial State of the Bay report.

Launched by an engaging and interactive keynote speech, the Florida Keys Symposium presenters broke into team presentations showcasing student research and demonstrating exceptional scholarship.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 03.27.2019

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