There is a great deal of safe exploration that can happen around water that other environments can not offer. When working around water, it is good to take several preliminary precautions to ensure maximum learning and fun.
- Explore the study site before taking participants out. This will allow you to establish boundaries and optimal study areas, and anticipate undesirable areas that students might find attractive.
- Having a large group near water requires clear boundaries and serious consequences for breaching those boundaries. An effective alternative for an overly enthusiastic explorer is focusing his or her attention at the analysis station away from water's edge.
- Use the buddy system. This makes participants more focused and aware of their surroundings.
- Each time you return to this site with a group, there will be less need for additional support. In the beginning it helps to have extra hands. For groups larger than twenty, have someone help you conduct the activity. When doing an aquatic project from the formal classroom, a ratio of ten students to each adult is optimal. Older participants can also serve as helpful support. Pairing a young group with a group of older students when possible can be very effective.
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