The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing campaign and Discovery Education are expanding the Explore the Blue program and are now providing educational materials specifically for middle-school students.
The materials feature Earth and life science lesson plans that help nurture a passion for outdoor activities, such as boating and fishing, and for aquatic conservation. In addition to the new science lessons, more than 10 family activities on the site are now available in Spanish, providing important resources to Latino populations nationwide.
“Ninety percent of adult outdoor enthusiasts are introduced to nature-based activities between the ages of 5 and 18,” RBFF president and CEO Frank Peterson said in a statement. “Providing opportunities to get involved with the outdoors through programs like Explore the Blue will help foster an appreciation for our natural world for years to come.”
ExploretheBlue.com, a free, comprehensive resource, empowers K-8 teachers and parents to engage students in a dialogue about the importance of outdoor recreational activities, such as boating and fishing, and fosters an appreciation for the protection and conservation of America’s lakes, rivers, streams and oceans.
“Discovery Education is pleased to expand the Explore the Blue Program to middle school students and give them a truly hands-on opportunity to explore the world around them and extend the concepts they are learning in school beyond the walls of their classrooms,” Discovery Education vice president Mary Rollins said in a statement. “By expanding the site’s resources to include students in grades K-8 we can help encourage all youth to participate in on-the-water activities and engage in aquatic conservation efforts.”
The launch also includes an Explore the Blue Water Challenge, a hands-on service learning challenge for middle school students designed to bring learning to life by getting students out on the water and reinforcing the benefits of aquatic conservation.
Students in grades 6-8 are asked to choose a local waterway or water-related issue in their community, conduct research, develop and implement an action plan and reflect on their findings in a video. One grand prize-winning team will be awarded a U.S. water-based adventure trip and a grant for their plan.
Teachers additionally are encouraged to enter the Explore the Blue Educator Sweepstake for a chance to win a one-day outdoor fishing adventure field trip and outdoor exploration kits for their class.