Waterworld: Elementary School Workshops

[This post refers to our 2007 workshop. For information on our 2008 workshop, please view our "workshops" page at top left.]

Study an octopus.
Be an octopus.

Grades 5 and 6

  • April 1–6, 2007 (filled)

Collaborate with artists and scientists and peers from across the state to explore water marine ecosystems and creative expression at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, Washington, on the Strait of Juan de Fuca!

You’ll find an octopus. Feel the grip of a sea anemone. Get to know the smallest and largest creatures in the sea and the largest, and use movement to learn understand how they are connected to each other. You’ll explore the beach, investigate a secluded pond, and a lagoon, that’s home to birds and fish all teeming with life.

Investigate a microscopic world, and assemble the skeleton of a real gray whale. Try watercolor painting, pull a huge seine net to sample shallow waters, use a refractometer to measure salinity, build beach sculptures, and create a journal of your discoveries.

These workshops are a partnership between Centrum and The Port Townsend Marine Science Center. Curricula, subject matter, activities, and projects have been designed to deepen and enhance your understanding of the marine world. You’ll work in small groups that rotate through activities in the field and the Marine Science Center. Every day offers a mix of workshops, all designed to deepen understanding and appreciation of water ecosystems. Group size is small to allow for maximum personal attention and minimum impact on fragile environments.

At the end of the week, take all that you’ve learned about the ecosystems you’ve studied, and discuss some of the challenges facing water environments. Evening programs include Native American storytelling, activities at the Marine Science Center, and a student presentation on the final night.

Renovated Fort buildings, including classrooms, dormitories, performance and studio spaces, serve as your home during your time at Centrum. Students stay in bunkrooms on the second floor that accommodate 4 to 10 people, and adults are housed on the first floor in single rooms. Dorm wings are divided by gender, and wing is supervised by an experienced dorm counselor.

Clock hours: 30
Tuition $60.00 (Out of state: $325)
Room & Board:  $280.00

You’ll work with the renowned staff of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, as well as the following faculty:

Libby Palmer is co-founder of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. Libby was Director of Operation SMART, a national program designed to encourage girls in math, science and technology. She has written science curricula for the US Forest Service, American Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of the Moving Image. Libby specializes in outdoor field experiences, helping young people and adults truly see the world around them and raising questions based on their observations. As a dancer, musician, videographer and writer, she merges art and science in her teaching and encourages students to do the same.

Christian Swenson is known for his pioneering work in “Human Jazz,” a global fusion of dance, drama, and music for body and voice. The Seattle Times has called him a “One-man Animal Kingdom.” He has performed and taught throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Nepal. He was “The Monster” in The Minnesota Opera’s production of Frankenstein, appeared at New York’s Serious Fun at Lincoln Center, and The New York Improvisation Festival with The Flying Karamazov Brother’s New Old Time Chautauqua. His work has also been featured on NPR.

Gina Sala’s love of the human voice has taken her to stages throughout the world. She has performed at the U.S. Capital, the United Nations, and most recently finished a contract as principal singer for Cirque du Soleil’s O. With her ensemble of 2-6 musicians, Gina Sala offers an evocative set, spiced with humor, which leaves people humming songs from places they may not have expected to travel!

Martha Worthley is a painter whose figurative and botanical images in watercolor draw inspiration from arts and cultures outside the mainstream of modern art. She is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, and for years combined working in schools with a position as arts editor for a weekly newspaper. She has recently returned from a year in Mexico teaching art to 530 elementary students in Guadalajara.