Skippers Program Continues to Grow
School year kick-off planned for September 26 at Schoodic Institute
The Eastern Maine Skippers Program has launched its seventh school year. The program will serve nearly 120 students this year, up from just 40 students when the Skippers started in 2012. Sumner Memorial High School, located in Sullivan, Maine, is the latest school to acquire the program. Sumner brings the total number of high schools participating to nine and broadens the reach to 52 communities. The Eastern Maine Skippers Program works with Eastern Maine high schools to enhances the next generation’s ability to shape and grow the future of fishing communities. Students learn on the water skills, how to have a voice in fisheries management and research, and run successful businesses.
Each school year, the program focuses on a different project. The 2018-19 project asks students how technology can contribute to a safe, healthy, and sustainable fishing industry. New World Encyclopedia defines technology as “anything that helps us produce things faster, better or cheaper.” Students will identify a challenge and engage in a rapid prototyping process to design a technological solution. They’ll be required to test, refine, and communicate the effectiveness of their solution. The Skipper’s program provides opportunities for students to experience lesson plans, take field trips, engage with industry experts, and work cross-functionally with other high school students in the region.
The first cross-functional event, or cohort day, is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26, 2018, at Schoodic Institute. The nearly 120 high school students, as well as their teachers, will gather in Winter Harbor from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to kick off the new year. During the full-day event, students will hear from industry members about aquaculture initiatives, fishing gear and regulations, personal floatation devices and safety, and different technologies used for research, to spark potential project ideas. The event is open to the media.
About Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries:
The Eastern Maine Skippers Program is operated by Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries (MCCF), a Stonington-based nonprofit. MCCF works to secure a sustainable future for fisheries and fishing communities in Eastern Maine by supporting today’s fishermen, educating future generations, and inspiring community stakeholders to become advocates. They facilitate innovative programs, creating a place where co-management of the ecosystem can be shared by fishermen, community groups, scientists, and fisheries managers at the finest scale. The result will be an industry that can adapt and persevere, even as climate and oceans change.
For more information, see the attached agenda outlining the kick-off event at Schoodic Institute.