Through the PBDA Coral Project, students of all ages have the opportunity to learn firsthand what they can do personally to affect vital current environmental issues.
What is the PBDA Coral Project?
Students of Palm Beach Day Academy are on a mission to help save the planet’s coral reefs and other vital ecosystems, an issue that is of global concern. The student-led experience empowers students to work collaboratively both inside the classroom walls and throughout the state of Florida and the Caribbean to further immerse themselves in our environment and issues of concern.
PBDA is uniquely positioned in a coastal environment and situated one block from the Atlantic Ocean. Our location provides our students with exclusive opportunities to study and impact ocean life.
Our goal is for our students to graduate as global ambassadors who appreciate how fundamental scientific knowledge can be applied to vital current issues. Most importantly, however, we hope to show how their unique perspectives can play a part in conserving our natural resources.
How It Began
Participating in a real-world race against time to understand and rescue coral from the stress being placed on the species by climate change, Upper Campus students founded the PBDA Coral Project in Fall 2018 to help focus local and national attention on the plight of the world’s reefs. The project was nominated in Spring 2019 as a finalist of the Palm Beach Illustrated‘s Education Awards in the “Oustanding Program Award” category.
Grants from The Annette Urso Rickel Foundation
Palm Beach Day Academy has received two generous grants from the Annette Urso Rickel Foundation, allowing us to update our campuses to include marine science spaces and to partner with world-class environmental science organizations.
Coral Project Branches Out
What started as an initiative by the Ninth Grade students is, today, a project that has grown to reach all grades and expanded to include additional environmental research vital to Florida including the mangroves, the Everglades, and more.
Through partnerships with community and national organizations like the Reef Institute, MANG, FAU’s Pine Jog, Community Greening, LOX Farms, and more, PBDA students have the chance to explore additional ecosystems and better understand how each is interconnected. In addition, the Coral Project brings in guest speakers, like 4Ocean and Zack Rago, co-star of the award-winning Netflix documentary “Chasing Coral,” to speak to the larger school community.
Through the Coral Project, PBDA’s mission for our students is threefold:
- To become more aware of their connection with the environment.
- To gain the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the complexities and interconnectedness of our habitats as well as our relationship with the environment.
- To ultimately take action to create a healthier global environment.
Learning takes place both inside and outside of the classroom in a hands-on, inquiry-based approach, encouraging our students to think critically and realistically. Students participate in a number of meaningful experiences to help improve the health of our environment including working in our school gardens, creating food forests, and helping to restore many different habitats. These place-based learnings are all crucial components of our mission.