On October 26th, thirty-two Seventh and Eighth Graders traveled with six of their teachers for a weeklong adventure to the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) in the Bahamas. CEI is a research and education center focused on marine ecosystems and sustainability initiatives. The institute shares a campus with The Island School–a semester study abroad program for high school sophomores and juniors.
The Island School and CEI are located in south Eleuthera on a campus that endeavors to be as sustainable as possible. This means the majority of the energy used there comes from wind and solar power, all the water on campus is collected from rain, and the community members who live and work there are committed to making choices that take environmental impacts into consideration.
During their time at CEI, Calvert students committed to conserving water by taking shorter showers, brought water bottles with them everywhere rather than using plastic cups, and remembered to turn off the lights when they left a room.
From morning until evening, their days were filled with experiential learning. Students participated in laboratory and field research while they learned about critical issues affecting our oceans. This included going turtle seining to help expert researchers gather data on endangered green sea turtles, helping harvest lettuce grown on campus in the aquaponics system and used in the dining hall, and snorkeling around reefs to see the coral and fish they learned to identify. Off campus, Calvert students connected with local Bahamian students at Deep Creek Middle School where they shared their life experiences and participated in swim lessons together. Additionally, they learned about the history of the Bahamas and the tourism industry during a two-day road trip down-island where they traveled the length of Eleuthera visiting various historical sites along the way. Many rocks were jumped off of and blue holes were explored on this trip as well! Students returned to Calvert eager to share their experiences and the knowledge they gained during this week away.