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pas t f ou n d a t i on

Summer Bridge Program Report

2011

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ISBN: 978-1-4276-4982-9 2011 PAST Foundation

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Contents
Bridge Program Overview Entomology Environmental Stewardship: Marine Ecosystems Channel Islands Forensic Anthropology Slobodna 1 5 7 10 12 15

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Overview
The PAST Foundation Summer Bridge Program Early in the morning, on the deck of a tall ship in the Pacific Ocean, miles from any land, a half dozen high school students wake up to a spectacular view of endless sky and pulsing water. As gentle winds brush past the ships hanging sails and small waves splash on its wooden hull, the students silently appreciate their uniquely beautiful experience. Later, three thousand miles away, a sweaty group of students in their twenties scrabble through fertile Ohio topsoil to reveal the gruesome remains of a murder victim. They carefully measure and document each detail as they excavate the simulated but still unsavory crime scene. Again, another thousand miles to the south, a third group of students plunges into the sapphire blue depths of the Florida Keys to survey an 1887 shipwreck, peering through their scuba masks at the sunken ship from another era. These experiences are the heartbeat of PAST Summer Bridge Programs. Holistic learning environments envelop students, providing real problems for them to work on, with real partners, requiring energy, collaboration, and commitment and, in return, providing rewarding experiences. PAST Foundation Summer Bridge Programs vary in intensity and content depth, depending on the age and experience of the students. Briefly, Level I targets students transitioning from traditional learning environments to problem-based environments, Level II is more appropriate for students who excel at applied learning, Level III provides advanced student leadership opportunities in addition to the applied learning aspects of a program, and Collegiate Level programs serve motivated adult students with intense, content-

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rich experiences of the summer. These level divisions empower students to take full advantage of PASTs offerings, but they do not change the principles underlying each programs design. Four Vital Components No matter the level of program, the PAST Foundation Design Team instills each with four vital components: Real Issues, Real Partnerships, a Trans-disciplinary Approach, and Presentations of Learning. PAST measures its success in its ability to meet these ideals, and students enthusiastically recommend PAST programs because of them. All PAST Bridge Programs begin with a Real Issue that allows students to engage with and help solve problems facing todays world. For instance, the Channel Islands program involves students in the Great Annual Fish Count, enabling them to help protect natural ecosystems through the evaluation of data. Slobodna involves students in underwater archaeology, teaching them skills that support ongoing research on a recently discovered shipwreck. The second essential component of all PAST Bridge Programs is Real Partnerships. Students learn from primary resources and work directly with experts in that field. PAST has spent over a decade forming relationships with experts from all over the academic map. Students of Entomology spent a week researching bugs with a Yale entomologist, and OSU Forensics students worked with more than a dozen experts in various fields, from blood spatter and trajectory specialists to cadaver dogs. Along the same lines, the PAST Design Team ensures that each of its programs address its Real Issue with a Trans-disciplinary Approach. It is crucial that we understand context, as it provides perspective and encourages essential critical thinking skills. Each program is presented in the context of its surrounding area and culture, incorporating the humanities, language arts, math, and design. The final component of every PAST Bridge Program is the Presentation of Learning, an opportunity for each student to follow scientific protocol in detailing their own work at the culmination of

a project. Program directors provide a rubric and examples to students, who then showcase their findings through entertaining and informative expositions. While these presentations can incorporate film, PowerPoint, poetry, essays, and sometimes a bit of role-playing, they always involve student creativity and original research. 2011 Eleven years of programs has taught the PAST Foundation Design Team that students excel academically when challenged in other ways, as well. That is, immersive personal challenges like living on a boat or routinely handling simulated dead bodies encourage intellectual growth. When focusing on both life skills and academic rigor, program directors observe an increase in student engagement in short time periods, and the programs of 2011 took full advantage of this principle. All five programs that PAST implemented over the summer built on previous iterations, and thus were well positioned to involve new students in proven ways. Although PAST continually seeks out new programs, 2011 saw the return of five successful and popular programs. At the collegiate level, both Slobodna and Forensic Anthropology returned for a seventh season. Both programs follow a fast-paced schedule and continuously challenge participants to apply newfound knowledge while exhuming mock burials or mapping shipwreckage under water. High school students joined the second and third seasons of Entomology, Channel Islands, and Marine Ecosystems. These programs feature packed schedules of physical activity at unique locations. Drawing upon its successes from previous years, PAST reprised the popular Environmental Stewardship: Marine Ecosystems program in 2011. A detailed description of this Level II program follows in the pages of this report, but

its structure supports the thesis that the combining of personal with academic challenges results in more robust student involvement. The program put students in the water for the majority of their work, assigned surveying and measuring tasks underwater. The PAST Foundation was pleased to work with documentary intern Sophia Roberts, MFA candidate in Science and Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University. Roberts contributed a rare combination of passion for the sciences along with expertise in filmmaking. Her impressive experience in both subjects was evident in her interactions with the program participants, and the quality of the resulting films is impressive. We look forward to using her work in both educational and promotional contexts. The PAST Foundation Bridge Programs of 2011 varied in length, rigor, and approach, but all provided students with an indispensable experience of personal and academic challenges. By focusing on the four vital components of Bridge Programs, the PAST Design Team ensured that each program harmonized in having real world application, connecting with real partners, encompassing a multitude of disciplines, and preparing the students to give an appropriate final presentation of learning. The following pages describe PASTs efforts in greater detail. We look forward to more successful summers in the future. The PAST Foundation

Entomology
Directed by Dr. Josh Benoit
Yale University, School of Public Health

Carter Caves, KY
Program Objective

June 26 July 2

Level II

Students often begin the Entomology program with a dry, incomplete understanding of the insect world, assuming the majority of the field is at best watching cool insects do neat things, and at worst memorizing long lists of genera and species. Entomology: Historical and Current Impacts, then, repositions the subject as vital to understanding changes in human culture and physiology through the millenia. The program presents a paradigm in which insects famish entire populations through crop destruction and infect others with fatal diseases, at times turning the course of human civilization, from bronze era famines to the twentieth century African sleeping sickness. Through an immersive, real-world project platform in the mountains of Kentucky, students experience the visceral connection between man and bug, appreciating their contribution to human habitat while exploring solutions to the problems they present. Summary In 2010, Entomology accomplished these goals within the confines of a college campus, but this years program added to last years success by immersing the students in the middle of the Kentucky wilderness. Hiking for miles, hours at a time, while collecting as many bugs as possible was a regular activity in

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2011, impressing the immediacy of peoples interactions with insects throughout history. After catching an afternoons worth of dragonflies, beetles, flying ants, and stink bugs, the students carried them back to camp where they learned to identify, mount, and preserve the insects. In addition, Entomology provided students with a basic knowledge of related fields of biology, introduced the practices of field data collection, and helped acclimate them to a college environment. The students formed small teams that worked on a week-long experiment together, testing specific hypotheses on their chosen insects. For example, one team used coal and wood ash to ascertain the effects of pollution on the development of mealworms, while another team inquired into the role temperature plays in the early lives of mosquitoes. At the end of the week, the teams gave impressive reports on the findings of their experiments, a testament to their hard work and the success of problembased education. These teams came together to play sports during free time, from football to ultimate frisbee to the popular strategy game, mafia. Other recreational activities included swimming in a nearby pool and taking a trip to the archery range to learn bow and arrow skills. Even as these activities were relaxing and not intended to be academic, the bugs were always there, reminding the students of their constant connection with humanity.

The PAST Entomology program would have been impossible without partnerships from The Ohio Statue University, Kentucky State Parks, and Yale University.

Marine Ecosystems
Directed by Dr. Andy Bruening
Metro Early College High School

Key Largo, FL
Program Objective

July 17 23

Level II

The Florida Keys bursts with countless species and cultural artifacts, as its climate supports biological evolution and its geography supports human commerce. The diversity of aquatic life in the Keys dazzles millions of visitors every year, while scientists and historians continue to make new discoveries about past cultures on the islands and in the ocean. Unfortunately, the realities of climate change and resource gathering present challenges to the continuation of these desirable assets. In the past year, unprecedented freezing temperatures affected all life in the region, and the Gulf Horizon oil spill interfered with the entire ecosystem. Thus, students of the PAST Foundations Environmental Stewardship: Marine Ecosystems Summer Bridge Program explored the ramifications of these environmental factors on the cultural and natural resources of the Florida Keys. Students snorkeled across the reef systems of the northern Keys, exploring both natural reefs and shipwrecks while gathering data used to help the sanctuary staff and commercial charter boats better manage the tourism resources. The program allows students to experience

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gathering data for crucial ongoing scientific observations, given the recent phenomena affecting this region. Professionals provide the students with lots of information about fish, coral, maritime trade, geology, and mammal conservation in the Florida Keys. The students final presentations incorporated their new knowedge and data to help better inform visiting tourists. The program is a prime example of the project-based STEM transdisciplinary approach of content delivery. Summary The students arrived in Ft. Lauderdale Sunday with sleepy, travel-worn faces until the ocean sparkled into view. The stunning panorama of water teeming with life and shipwrecks set the tone for the cultural and natural resource exploration that would continue throughout the week. The students divided into three teams, both for practical reasons and for recreational competitions, such as the salad-building design challenge that continued through the whole week. Establishing consistent teams at the beginning of the week, rather than redistributing them for each activity, turned out to be a great factor in drawing the students together in collaboration and commitment. The first morning, the three teams snorkeled at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, where they studied the Spanish Ship Wreck of 1715, a simulated wreck that provided great practice for observing underwater phenomena. The following days consisted of much more snorkeling, alternately focusing on Grecian Rocks, the Christ of the Abyss underwater statue, a sunken barge, Captain Toms Wreck, a seemingly

infinite variety of fish and sea foliage and corals, and many other fantastic wonders. The students kept meticulous records of their observations, getting a taste of true scientific field work. Ancillary to these frequent snorkels, the students took a class on fish identification, visited the wonderful Key Largo Marine Mammal Conservancy, studied formations at the Windley Key Geological Park, and learned about the aviary component of the ecosystem at a wild bird center. The program successfully elicited creative energy and commitment to the scientific observations in the dives, and the programs partners contributed quality, dense content. Most importantly, the students have solved problems to contribute to a real world scientific project, and the product of their research is something of which they can always be proud.

In implementing Marine Ecosystems: Environmental Stewardship, The PAST Foundation is grateful for partnerships with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Marine Sanctuary of the Florida Keys, the Florida Division of Historical Resources, and Quiescence Dive Charter.

Channel Islands Entomology


Directed by MJ Harris-Taylor
American Tall Ship Institute

Channel Islands, CA
Program Objective

August 1 6

Level II

This program immerses students in the realities of life at sea, rigorous academic sampling techniques, and a project-based learning experience reminiscent of college coursework. Specifically, Cultural and Natural Resources: Channel Islands presents the unique ecosystem and shipwrecks of the Channel Islands to high school students as a means to engage directly with the principles of the aquatic foodchain and how it is affected by human activity. From the sprawling kelp forests of California to the fish that eat it and to the sharks and birds that eat them, all of marine life responds to human fishing, polution, and global warming. By studying the spectrum of this underwater world, measuring the changes of kelp and sea urchin populations, and by visiting the surface of an island with species unique to itself among the world, the students learned larger lessons about the interaction of humanity and ecology. Summary Twenty students, coming from New York, Ohio, and California, lived aboard a tall ship for a week, waking up surrounded by nothing but wide ocean and a spreading sky. Before embarking on this unforgettable adventure, the students were
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trained in a variety of safety measures and sailing techniques, to ensure a successful and safe trip for everyone. The nature of this program binds life skills and academic skills immutably together, as life aboard ship is nonarbitrary, demanding collaboration and a good deal of energy. Finally, the tall ship pushed off onto the water. The captain taught the students to raise the sails, and the twenty were soon climbing ladders and pulling on ropes, working seamlessly together despite their dramatically disparate backgrounds. As the strong wind pulled the ship along the rough surface of the ocean, a few students struggled to find their sea legs and spent a bit of time leaning over the edge of the boat. By the end of the day, though, the students were sailing close to Santa Cruz Island with aplomb. The week passed in a whirlwind of activity, from swimming in the cold Pacific ocean to the tiresome process of donning a wetsuit and flopping around the surface of the boat before long snorkeling sessions, to categorizing strange creatures from both land and sea. The raising of the anchor was the most challenging task for the students, as the windlass (a lathe winch) had to be turned at least a hundred times, and it took four students to make an effective turn. Fortunately, lowering the anchor proved to be much easier. Through all of this physical activity, the students were constantly learning. The rich ecosystems around them invited discussion and exploration, and the instructors wasted no opportunity to talk about the red and purple sea urchins that live in the immense kelp forests, or to find interesting sea creatures to show and discuss, such as a sea hare, a sea cucumber, and a Garibaldi fish, the state fish of California. Also, on the island of Santa Cruz, the students were immersed in an environment where mankinds behavior has a tangible and immediate effect on its environment, as the ranch on the island threatens to make some unique species extinct.

Only PASTs partnership with the American Tall Ship Institute enabled the Cultural and Natural Resources: Channel Islands Summer Bridge Program to enjoy such success.

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Entomology OSU Forensics


Directed by Dr. Sam Stout and Adam Kolatorowicz
The Ohio State University, Department of Anthropology

Columbus, OH
Program Objective

June 20 July 8

Collegiate

Forensic Anthropology presents the full depth of practice, research, and theory of investigation to undergraduate and graduate students. Modules include crime scene invesitgation, videography, photography, toolmark analysis, ballistics, DNA, fingerprints, trace evidence, osteology, anthropology, archaeology, pathology, criminal psychology, the legal system, and courtroom testimony. Students learn directly from experts in each of these fields, participating in specific hands-on exercises. Each subject and exercise helps the students build a case for a mock crime, as they process in both indoor and outdoor crime scenes, interpret the evidence, and testify about their findings as an forensic expert in a simulated court. The three-week program provides students the ability to distinguish between real forensic science and psuedo-forensic science in the media, entertainment, and their own experience. Students also enjoy the opportunity to network with forensic experts and consider career paths previously unknown to them, and the Ohio State University offered college credit for participation in the rigorous course. In addition to these specific objectives, Forensic Anthropology improves students team work, problem solving, public speaking, and writing skills, as all of these
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skills are necessary to successfully deal with the mock crime. Summary The program began with excitement and anticipation as the students got to know the people with whom they would be working for the next three weeks. Soon after the obligatory reading of the syllabus and familiarizing with the campus map, students jumped headfirst into the meat of the program with a lecture from the Captain of the OSU Police Department on crime scene management. Like the many, many presentations that were to follow, the Captain included several hands on activities that tested the students creativity and problem-solving capacities. At this point, the students were eager to absorb the great quantity of information that would be presented to them over the next weeks. The days flew by. The students reconstructed skeletons, plastered tire treads and shoe impressions, measured blood spatters, took impressions of bite marks and fingernails, photographed crime scenes, made dental molds with alginate, testified in mock court, and did a host of other activities that were enlightened the mind and entertained the senses. One of the most visceral experiences of the course was the excavation of a (fake) body from the soil, which required students to be meticulous, attentive, and focused for long periods of time, all the while continuously uncovering rather unpleasant (fake) human remains. The students attacked each new challenge with vigor and discipline, and the many presenters were well-prepared and provided rigorous challenges of all kinds. The program concluded with a mock courtroom trial, an ingenious way to tie the materials from the past weeks together, providing the students a way to review all of the material in a creative way. Each student played the role of a forensic expert being asked to testify, and guilt and innocence were determined by their findings. The students heartily enjoyed the role playing and quick

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thinking this required, and deftly showed their ability to synthesize data in this context. The three weeks had passed quickly, with students digging for bodies, getting covered with (fake) blood and plasters, and handling rather unseemly artifacts, and so the final day in a comfortably carpeted courtroom with professional clothing created a victorious atmosphere over the days of toil.

The Forensic Anthropology Summer Bridge Program was implemented in concert with The Ohio State University Department of Anthropology, along with several important partners The Ohio State University Department of Public Safety, Franklin County Coroners Office, K9 Response Search & Rescue, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc., and The Franklin County Municipal Court.

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Slobodna
Directed by Dr. Sheli Smith
PAST Foundation

Key Largo, FL

July 24 August 5

Collegiate

Program Objective Opportunities for students to participate in a hands-on underwater archaeology project do not arise frequently, and when an institution does offer some kind of field school or similar program, it rarely involves a current project in ongoing research. Students fortunate enough to discover an experience-based program often find themselves working on simulated problems, working towards solutions that have already been discovered. For over ten years, the PAST Foundation has offered a field school that guides adult students through the investigation process on an underwater wreck of which the study has not been completed, making a perfect example of problem/projectbased content delivery in an educational program. This year, this PAST program returned to the Slobodna wreck. The sailing ship Slobodna left New Orleans with a cargo of cotton in 1887. The Polish vessel was headed for the Baltic Sea, but ran aground on the Molasses Reef, just off the coast of Florida. Since then, the wreckage has scattered across the reef, concentrating in sections in at least three specific

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locations. In the first years of PASTs work, students mapped the Winch Hole and the Mast Sites, where the ship initially grounded and where the foremast and bow came to rest. In one of the following programs, PAST students happened to snorkel over a third pocket of debris, discovering more of the wreck site, the Mainmast Site, where students began mapping last year. This year, students continue to gain hands-on, realworld underwater archaeology experience continuing work on the Mainmast Site of the shipwreck Slobodna. Summary The two-week program began with the students cataloging artifacts from the Queen of Nassau, a vessel scuttled in the early 1900s. These days of tedious but rewarding work instilled in the students an appreciation for the great amount of work that must be done after dives, and enhanced their sensitivity for how to handle artifacts when they retrieve them on a project. After measuring, sketching, photographing, and writing a description of the assembled items, which was later published in a searchable database, the students moved on to underwater mapping techniques. First, students tried out their new surveying skills at Pennekamp Nation Park in a low-intensity snorkeling exercise, measuring fifteen cannons and a large anchor in about six feet of water. They also prepared for their first real dive by taking lectures on coral, conservation issues, and applied science technologies used in underwater archaeology. After this preparation and pacing, the students went out for their first dive in full gear. Despite some large waves and incidental seasickness, the team successfully dove at the Slobodna Mainmast site, triangulating datums to measure different aspects of the sites.

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Throughout the second week, the teams continued to measure, map, and record the wrecks remains at the mainmast site. In addition, one team each day, under the direction of Patrick Enlow, searched out other sites located on Molasses Reef and chronicled them in the Hayes Report of Chuck Hayes. The goal was to find the stern section of the shipwreck, which was still missing. Each afternoon and evening, the collected data was recorded and mapped. By the end of two weeks, the archaeology team was able to publish a site report for NOAA and inform both the NOAA and the Florida State Underwater Archaeologists that they had located the mizzenmast site.

The PAST Foundations Slobodna Summer Bridge Program could not have provided the same depth of experience and quality of content without its partnerships with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Marine Sanctuaries of the Florida Keys, the Florida Division of Historical Resources, and Quiescence Dive Charter.

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