Wilderness Southeast educators are teaching an exciting new program to public middle school students in Savannah, Georgia — "Fish Gotta Swim..." Students explore the impact of changes in water quality in the tidal, freshwater wetlands unique to our coast.
Yes, fish have to swim. Fish, like people, need clean water to stay alive. So what is "clean" water? When is it clean enough? ...And for whom?
"Fish Gotta Swim..." is an eight session course which introduces middle school students to the abundance and diversity of life in nearby wild areas. As we build skills of field investigation and observation, students gain capacity for discovery, curiosity, and empathy with living creatures different from themselves. Students acquire simple conceptual understandings of the processes upon which life depends. Classroom laboratory experiments expand upon field trip discoveries, providing discoveries about water in both physics and biology. As we teach scientific process, students practice and hone critical thinking skills. Students then use what they have experienced and learned to debate a real-life threat to the water quality of the study area.
Since most spend their leisure time indoors, today's children often miss the beauty of intricately connected natural systems, and often are not led to see their part in those systems. Additionally, science education often gets low priority in public schools, where disadvantaged students may have never travelled out of town or ridden in a boat. "Fish Gotta Swim..." students are given these opportunities.
"Fish Gotta Swim..." was designed by Wilderness Southeast and operates in partnership with the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex and participating public schools. Partial funding for "Fish Gotta Swim..." comes from national and regional grants, including the M.K. Pentecost Ecology Fund. Private and corporate donations also help operate "Fish Gotta Swim..." Additional support is needed to make this program available to more deserving students. Click on the fish to learn how you can help.