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Meet the Finalists: Salish Sea Expeditions

Posted by Michelle Harden & Marrione Camacho

Salish Sea Expeditions was formed in 1994 by co-founders Kathy Murphy and Sophy Johnston.  That same year, Four Winds Westward Ho Camp on Orcas Island, Washington, was planning the construction of a 60-foot sailboat to be used by the camp during the summer months.

Kathy and Sophy, connected to Four Winds and experienced in the world of boat-based education, saw an opportunity to create a unique science education program that would utilize the vessel during the school year.  After consulting with teachers and administrators, it became clear that there was a need for a program to give middle and high school students the opportunity to do real hands-on science through student-designed, boat-based research expeditions.

Following inquiry-based methodologies, students are given control and ownership of all aspects of their Salish learning experience, with the belief that students would develop a joy for learning and a new-found appreciation for science that they would carry back to their traditional classroom settings.


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