The Lettered Olive: S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Education News
[ May 6, 2022]
April has officially ended and come what may, we are now in the last official month of spring! As we start gearing up for warmer temperatures, May signals the winding down of the school year and the ramping up of summer plans, which could include summer school or jobs, vacations, camps, or just doing nothing (remember that book you keep wanting to read?). For those hitting the beach, you might stumble upon this issue's featured creature, the sand dollar, or keyhole urchin (Mellita quiquiesperforata), which is a beachcomber's delight! A member of the phylum Echinodermata, this unique animal is close cousins with the sea star, brittle star, sea cucumber, and sea urchin -- in fact, sand dollars are considered to be flat sea urchins. As with all members of this phylum, sand dollars display beautiful radial symmetry, in which the organism grows out from one central point or axis, differing from bilateral symmetry (two mirrored halves) found in mammals. If you find a living sand dollar, you'll notice that the body is a brownish-green color and feels spiny to the touch -- the test, or skeleton, is covered with an arrangement of spines, tiny hair-like structures (cilia), and tubed feet that enable the animal to maneuver above or below the sand. The "keyholes" or oval spaces on the sand dollar are called lunules, which help stabilize the sand dollar in the surf or bury underneath the sand. Sand dollars are omnivores, foraging for algae, microorganisms, and detritus using a mouth located on the underneath, or ventral, side of the body that has five teeth, called "Aristotle's lantern", arranged in a circle. When the sand dollar dies, the test often bleaches white and becomes smooth to the touch; the dove-shaped "teeth" are visible when the sand dollar breaks open. Although these sand dollars do not have any monetary value, it does make cents to check out the marine education opportunities from the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and our partners! Photo: E.V. Bell
Jobs and Internships
S.C. Sea Grant Consortium
Marine Education Program Assistant

Under the direction of the Marine Education Specialist, this position will assist with formal and nonformal student programs and outreach, teacher professional development, and community stewardship events. Please visit the job announcement webpage for more information on the position and how to apply.
K - 12 Student Opportunities
Something's Very Fishy: YouTube Kids!

The Something's Very Fishy project is creating a music video and is seeking up to 100 kids to give their voice to this effort! Youth will virtually interact with experts to develop a music video and be part of its professional release! To learn more about the project and to register, please visit the Something's Very Fish project page.
Educator Professional Development
REconnect (Researcher/Educator) Symposium
July 12, 2022 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
South Carolina Aquarium
Registration Now Open!
Educators and scientists are invited to register for the first REconnect (Researcher/Educator) Symposium hosted by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and the S.C. Aquarium. This free event is designed to: 
  • Connect formal and nonformal educators with local scientists conducting coastal and marine science research to learn about ways to incorporate research into education programming and avenues to address the new College- and Career-Ready Science Standards.
  • Provide an opportunity for scientists to engage in communicating research in non-lecture formats (e.g., demonstrations).
To register, please visit the REconnect Symposium website. Renewal credits are offered. Questions can be sent to Emmi Palenbaum or E.V. Bell.
Palmetto Environmental Education Certification
2022 - 2024 Course Information Announced

Information about the 2022 - 2024 Palmetto Environmental Education Certification (PEEC) course is now available! PEEC is the only environmental education certification program for formal and nonformal educators in the state and is co-coordinated by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina. Become part of the statewide PEEC network by participating in this two-year course designed to develop best practices in environmental education and educate about the different regions of the state. To attend an information session on May 25 or June 7, please register here. To learn more about the course, including requirements, costs, and application deadlines, please visit the PEEC website. Questions can be emailed to E.V. Bell.
From Seeds to Shoreline Workshop
July 27, 2022 (new teachers)
July 28, 2022 (veteran teachers)
S.C. Department of Natural Resources
Charleston, S.C.
Registration Now Open!

The From Seeds to Shoreline® (S2S) program wants you to join our team for the 2022 - 2023 school year! The S2S program, coordinated by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium in partnership with S.C. Department of Natural Resources and Clemson University, is the only salt marsh restoration program in the state designed specifically for K - 12 students and teachers. By growing Spartina alterniflora, the dominant plant of southeastern salt marshes, throughout the school year and transplanting young seedlings to areas of the coastline, students not only learn about the importance of this critical ecosystem but they also serve as environmental stewards. Two training sessions will be offered in-person at the S.C. Department of Natural Resources:

July 27, 2022 (New Teacher Training): This one-day training is a pre-requisite for new teachers interested in participating in S2S for the upcoming school year. The training offers sessions on salt marsh ecology, restoration techniques, classroom applications, and more. There is no cost to attend; however, pre-registration is required.

July 28, 2022 (Veteran Teacher Training): This one-day training is optional for those S2S teachers who have been with the program for at least one year. Join us for a fun-filled day of exploring the College of Charleston's Grice Marine Lab, learning about ongoing research from local scientists, updates to the program, new resources/giveaways, and field-based explorations! There is no cost to participate, but pre-registration is required.

Reserve your spot by visiting the S2S website. Questions can be sent to E.V. Bell.
Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) Workshop
Explore the ACE Basin
July 12 - 14, 2022

Educators are invited to explore the three rivers that give the ACE Basin its name: the Ashepoo, the Combahee, and the Edisto! Through field excursions in the various habitats of the ACE Basin and classroom sessions designed to highlight applicable lessons and activities, participants will interact with scientists, analyze data, and discover ways to engage students in learning about about coastal environmental topics. To learn more about this workshop and to register, please visit the TOTE webpage. Questions can be emailed to Erica Connery.
Save the Date! Teachers on the Estuary Workshop
Where Rivers Meet the Sea
July 19 - 20, 2022
Georgetown, S.C.

Save the date to join North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NIWB NERR) staff to explore river and estuarine systems, interact with local scientists, and learn new classroom activities and applications for the K - 12 classroom. More information about this workshop will be available on the NIWB NERR education page. Questions can be emailed to Beth Thomas.
Environmental Education Association of South Carolina's Annual Conference
"Educating Outside the Box"
June 8 - 11, 2022
Aiken, S.C.

Registration is now open for the 2022 Environmental Education Association of South Carolina (EEASC) Annual Conference! During this fun-filled educational time, you'll enjoy plenary sessions, workshops, and field trips to places like the Ruth Patrick Science Center and the Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve. Learn more about this exciting conference and register by visiting the EEASC Conference webpage.
S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Education Resources
Featured Lesson Plan: Nature's Water Filter: Oyster Demonstration Lesson Plan

Discover how oysters serve as a natural water filter with this hands-on and engaging lesson developed by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium's Aquaculture Specialist! Students will learn about how oysters filter water in the salt marsh by building mini secchi discs to measure changes in turbidity over time. This lesson is available for free download and is aligned with the new College- and Career-Ready State Science Standards.
Enviroscape Loaner Program

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium offers use of their Wetlands Enviroscape Model free-of-charge to any S.C. K-12, nonformal, and homeschool educator. The Wetlands Enviroscape Model provides a hands-on demonstration about how watersheds can be affected by development, pollution, and other human-made and natural impacts. Included as part of the demonstration are ways in which potential pollution impacts can be mitigated (e.g., riparian buffers and salt marshes). To find out more information on requesting to borrow the Enviroscape, please visit the Enviroscape Loaner Program page to fill out the request form. Questions can be sent to Emmi Palenbaum.
S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Career Website

Do you know someone who is considering a career in the ocean sciences? Check out the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium's brand-new website designed to provide information on a variety of different types of career paths within the field of ocean sciences. Don't want to be a scientist? No problem! This website has relevant information for both science and non-science fields-of-study.
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