2013 Youth Ocean Summit highlights
The Ocean Science/Ocean Swimming (OS/OS) class of Samona High School showcased their ‘Now What’ short films last Saturday at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center during this year’s 2013 Youth Ocean Summit.
Each OS/OS student was in a team that produced a video of what they learned during this year’s OS/OS class that spent three days of the week in the classroom with the other two days in the water.
The OS/OS classroom lessons were the Science portion of the class, which comprised an integration of guest speakers from various environmental agencies and presentations on ocean related topics. The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) taught the classroom lessons.
The American Samoa Aquatics Agency (ASAA) taught the swimming part of the class; where the students learned proper swimming techniques, open water survival, rescue techniques and how to stay safe in the water.
The director of the Department of Commerce, Keniseli Lafaele, who noted that the ocean is part of our island history, made special Remarks. “We base our development on the youth, children and the ocean. It is our duty, our obligation and legacy to protect the ocean…” Of the class, Lafaele said, “You are rediscovering the art of our ancestors and what they used to do in the water.”
The winner in this year’s OS/OS ‘Now What’ video presentation was a team of two seniors. Lagrimus Te’o and Lokeni Tausilinu’u who presented a video on ‘Water Pollution’, focusing on how pollution is affecting our oceans and how, according to the video, the ocean will be the only source of food if we ever run out of food to feed earth’s population.
Head of the ASAA, Zero Iaulualo also gave a special thank you to all of the OS/OS students.
“I can honestly say that all of this year’s students in this OS/OS class have done a fantastic job learning how to swim,” he stated. “I thank them for giving a great effort. I cannot choose just one student as the best swimmer this year, because they all did an equally great job and I thank them for that.”
A Certificate of Recognition was given to Samoana High School Teacher/Instructor Meauta Mageo for his work with OS/OS class.
The high school accredited OS/OS class was implemented into the Department of Education in January 2012, with Samoana High School chosen as the pilot school.
The class is funded by the NMSAS in partnership with the Department of Commerce, American Samoa Department of Education AS/DOE) and with in-kind support and expertise provided by the ASAA.
The 2013 Youth Ocean Summit was co-hosted by the Department of Youth and Women’s Affairs and the NMSAS in partnership with the Department of Commerce.
The NMSAS and AS/DOE are in their 2nd year of a partnership enrolling students in the OS/OS course. There were a total of 40 students that completed the program in 2012 and close to 30 students that enrolled in this year’s Spring semester.
According to the NMSAS, there are still students on the waiting list to take this class and other high schools here in the territory are requesting an OS/OS program as part of their curriculum as well
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