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RE: FieldKit.org’s Ongoing Effort to Provide Unique, Open Source, Technological Opportunities for Local Students to Engage in Authentic “State of the Art” Environmental Data Collection/Analysis Processes (hardware and software)

19 Jul

It has now been more than 25 months since (Beyond the Classroom Aquarium &) I first received an exciting announcement from Fieldkit.org – about FieldKit50 awards – shared below. Every day, since receiving the announcement from them, I have been imagining what this awesome FieldKit opportunity will provide for students in my sphere of influence (via camps, school and park district programs and other formal/nonformal educational plarforms) etc.

During our 2020-2022 Covid existence, the virus (among other things as described in FieldKit’s blog) have been delaying FieldKit’s efforts to expediently fulfill the FieldKit water-station shipment commitments they were dedicated to prior to the full emergence of today’s world-wide economic and socio-political ‘s viral gridlock. Please see this FieldKit blog that describes some or their recent setbacks and amazing efforts to resolve factors that have been delaying successful completion of their product development mission.

As I await the next contact from FieldKit.org I have faith that they are engaged in an ongoing process to fulfill their offer to provide a unique technological opportunity for local students to engage in authentic “State of the Art” environmental data collection (and citizen science fieldwork) – Thank You for Your Ongoing Efforts FieldKit.org

As of August 2, 2022 and despite occasional but reassuring email corresponence from FieldKit, I believe readers of this Beyond the Classroom Aquarium blog/post will be interested to see exactly when FieldKit.org ships their FielkKit water-station to me.

i also wonder if FieldKit.org still intends to produce a blog post that publically introduces all fifty FieldKit50 winners? I wonder if the other 49 contest awardees have been as on edge about this as much as i have. To me, I am beginning to feel that receiving the water-station now symbolizes some kind of return to a more stable/reliable pre-virus existence

Below is a copy of an email announcement I received on June 23, 2020.

Exciting News about your #FieldKit50 Application

Congratulations Bob, you’re getting a FieldKit!

After reviewing almost 200

Congratulations Bob, you’re getting a FieldKit!

After reviewing almost 200 entries from all around the world, we’ve chosen you as a winner of our #FieldKit50 giveaway. We’re so excited to see how you end up using your station. Here are the important details:

We’re going to put together a blog post announcing you and the rest of the winners in the coming days. We’ll be following up in a couple of weeks to….

Stations will ship in Fall, 2020 (our production schedule has been impacted by COVID-19). We’ll get you a more exact date when we have one.

Feel free to share the good news!

We’d love it if you used the #FieldKit50 tag & linked to our website: https://fieldkit.org where possible. And….

Yay!

The FieldKit team”

If you are at all familiar with my Beyond the Classroom Aquarium curriculum you will understand how excruciatingly awesome it was to receive this announcement. I have only been able to imagine sharing this kind of technology with students for the past 30 years!

I’m looking forward to exploring this FieldKit technology with local students & project teams for years to come. Thanks to FieldKit & Conservify, someday soon many students will have fabulous “state-of-the-art” opportunities to learn a lot more about current best-practices & technologies used for environmental monitoring, data collection & analysis & formulation of environmental policy & practical applications to pursue based on data/science & beyond.

Although by October 29, 2021 it seemed FieldKit would soon complete final rebuild & performance testing of water units and be rolling them off the FieldKit production line (released for purchase), it seems as of August 2, 2022 more unexpected delays have prevented shipping. I am looking forward to receiving a FieldKit water station. In the meantime, I will continue seeking ways to support local businesses and neighbors and hope you will try this too for those in your corner of the world.

Thank you FieldKit for your ongoing efforts and gallant mission.

“…to give people the tools to measure the world around them and empower everyone to advocate for the environment. FieldKit aims to dramatically reduce the cost of research-grade environmental sensors, and to simplify the processes of data management, visualization and sharing.” (2019, FieldKit in the Real World)

I have not given up on you!

Kind and Generous Benefactors of Beyond the Classroom Aquarium Project Development and Piloting

23 Apr

Numerous persons have provided equipment, materials, services, and much appreciated advice in my first attempts to share STEM-based aquatic ecosystem projects with my students. Prominent among these early Beyond the Classroom Aquarium supporters have been:

* Sho-Tank Aquariums; Matt Jensen, until recently the proprietor of this business (now residing in Hawaii – 🙂 ) offered ongoing and unparalleled support to me in my efforts to develop #BtheCA (Twitter Hashtag) projects by providing a range of livestock and related equipment at costs that made it possible for students to experience a wide range of aquatic organisms (on my teacher’s salary). In my exhaustive search, I never found a more constant source of support for implementing these ideas. Thanks Matt (Aloha to you & your family)!

* SeaQuest Marine; Donated and set-up in the classroom, a new 55-gallon aquarium and filtration system along with a state-of-the-art reef capable lighting system. When Jim Whitney came to my classroom to help my students & I set up the system he was amazingly warm, caring and enthusiastic towards my students and my vision. Now in Palm Beach I wish him ongoing happiness and success.

* Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Automation; Donated a programmable logic controller to use in developing a prototype plankton culture and collection system for classroom use.

* Grow-Masters; Provided seeds and grow media related to an aquaponics system that students designed and assembled.

* Reef Propagations, Inc.; Donated an aging but active pair of nest-laying clownfish enabling students to participate in efforts to raise larvae.

* National Marine Educators Association (NMEA); Published an account of student experiences in designing and maintaining a 500 gallon aquaponics system.

Although a portion of the curricular activities in Beyond the Classroom Aquarium were developed by large national agencies (supported through tax dollars – and thus generally considered “public domain,” given proper citation etc.), numerous non-governmental agencies, writers, and developers of other educational activities used in Beyond the Classroom Aquarium have generously granted me permission (either directly or via website permissions) to include portions of their copyrighted material in one or more of the projects in the curriculum. Will you please support these people and organizations (in particular) if and when you are in a position to do so?

  • Gerry Marten – Author and Proponent of “Human Ecology” his book by that name is available free online. Relevant information and links are available on his webpage: http://www.gerrymarten.com/human-ecology/tableofcontents.html . Thank you for speaking with me on the phone Gerald – our discussion of your Apo Island experience and related learning materials was deeply appreciated. I appreciate your agreement to allow me to include Apo Island learning materials in Beyond the Classroom Aquarium.
  • Martin A. Moe, Jr.  – Marine Biologist, Author of many great books about marine aquariums, and active spokesperson for the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary. Martin corresponded with me with great understanding and patience. We ultimately identified ways for me to include various text published by Martin in Beyond the Classroom Aquarium. One of his colleagues (Joe) provided me with the first pair of spawning Clown fish that I shared with my students. 
  • Brandy Moran – marine science curriculum developer
  • Don Carner – a long-standing proponent of “Do-It-Yourself” aquarium projects. In our correspondence he seemed surprised that I would think to consider including information that he wrote in Beyond the Classroom Aquarium to help students analyze lighting systems they might develop.
  • Alex Brylske – Chief Editor of Dive Training Magazine, college professor (Florida Keys Community College) and inspirational writer about the ocean – magnanimously agreed to allow me to use his writing about experiences with a unique group of coral propagators and their amazing work. I could feel him smiling through his email correspondence with me.
  • Tom Shaw – webmaster holding rights to the Hidden Mickey’s web site content (upon which I based the laminar flow fountain design project in Beyond the Classroom Aquarium).
  • the Aquarium Guys – for presenting a nice page about “is your fish really sick” on their webpage
  • Gary V. Deutschmann – for developing a nice paper about “the History of Hydroponics”
  • Jason Buchheim – director of Odyssey Expeditions and developer of many web pages of fabulous educational pages about the oceans 
  • Charles Drewes – He devoted his life to learning about invertebrates and passing this information on to his students and the public – his university web page contains great information about culturing aquatic black worms (among other things)
  • Thanks to Mr. Dick Irish of Wilmington, NC – whom I first met at an Arduino/Raspberry Pi Meetup. He provided me with a MEGA to work with and encouraged my ongoing efforts to develop a prototype laminar flow fountain.

To read more about Beyond the Classroom Aquarium you may click on a link to one of the four bulleted posts below. Each post offers additional information about: the curriculum, the author, the program’s structure/format, and acknowledgement of support others have provided in curriculum development or in piloting of activities with students.

https://www.createspace.com/4888083

Please contact Robert Jakus directly for more information about Beyond the Classroom Aquarium.

To Return to BEYOND the CLASSROOM AQUARIUM – HOME click here.

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