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PROGRAMS > EDUCATION > SCIENCE & SPANISH CLUB > SSC NEWS

Gulf of Mexico Foundation
Science & Spanish Club Network

One of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation's most innovative programs is a multicultural outreach project working to bring English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students together through science education. Established in 2000, the GMF Science & Spanish Club Network (SSCN) is an extracurricular multicultural approach to coastal environmental education.

Directed by Project Coordinator Richard Gonzales of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, the multicultural science club project is funded through grants from the Texas General Land Office, the EPA, NOAA and the Gulf of Mexico Foundation.

The program strives to develop youth leadership through teaching stewardship of the Gulf of Mexico and the greater Gulf Stream ecosystem. The network stretches along the gulf coast, with 13 sites along the Texas gulf coast, 2 along the Mexico gulf coast and one in Puerto Rico. Participating clubs include public school districts, Boys & Girls Clubs and private schools (see list of club locations at right). About 7,500 students have participated in the program since the year 2000.

The GMF SSCN works to establish people-to-people relations between the U.S. and Mexico to address environmental concerns. Club meetings are held in both English and Spanish to not only help English-speaking students learn Spanish but to give students whose primary language is Spanish a chance to learn in their native tongue. Together, the students learn language and science skills through participating in environmentally oriented educational projects focused on the Gulf of Mexico and the watersheds that empty into it. Activities include dragging seine nets through bay waters to learn firsthand what lives beneath the surface, kayaking through wetlands to monitor animal and plant life, cleaning up trash along coastal areas, and attending events such as Earth Day.

The GMF Science & Spanish Club's goal is to develop a cadre of young students who are knowledgeable about coastal society, both as observers and residents. In addition, it strives to teach students the importance of building long-distance, long-term relationships.

The projectís long-term plan is to connect the middle school network currently in place to middle schools in the other gulf states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida). Plans also include establishing counterpart connections along the gulf states of Mexico: Tamaulipas, Vera Cruz, Campeche, Tabasco, Quintana Roo and Yucatan.

The GMF's SSCN was originally designed as a coastal environmental education program for middle school students but, since it now has "alumni" who have moved on to high school, the program has begun to reach out at the high school level as well, starting with Aransas Pass High School in Texas.


Video about GMF's Science & Spanish Network's 2009 Gulf Guardian Award
To watch video, click on image above or watch it on YouTube

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
e-mail: info@gulfmex.org     website: gulfmex.org
webmaster: Carrie Robertson



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Gulf of Mexico Foundation

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SSCN PARTNERS

Aransas NWR
Aransas Pass Chamber
Cameron County Parks & Recreation Department
City of Aransas Pass
City of Laguna Vista
City of Los Fresnos
City of Port Lavaca
City of South Padre Island
Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries
Coastal Bend Bays Foundation
Guad-Blanco River Authority
Jobos Bay NERRR
Laguna Atascosca NWR
Laguna Madre Boys & Girls Club
Lower Colorado River Authority
Matagorda Co Coastal Com
Port of Brownsville
Rio Grande Intl Study Center
Sarasota Bay Estuaries Program
Sinton ISD
Texas GLO Adopt-A-Beach
TPWD Coastal Fisheries Div
Texas Transportation Institute
UT Brownsville
Welder Wildlife Refuge
Wood Buffalo National Park

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