Students get up close to marine life

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Photo above: Bob Bender, left, tries to get the student to join him. Others in the group, standing in the background, point to a dolphin jumping in the water. Most of the students had never seen a dolphin in the wild. Photos by Bob Sofaly.

By Chuck Newton 

About 30 high school students and counselors from Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida learned about the coastal environment on June 22 at The Sands in Port Royal. 

The students are part of the six-week-long Resident Program of the mathematics and science division of Claflin University’s Upward Bound program, according to Kalinn Halls, one of the program’s counselors. 

“The program helps high school students study math and science away from their own school environment with weekly field trips,” she said.

These students were taking part in the “Live Between the Tides” program, said Bob Bender, curator of the Low Country Estuarial and Coastal Learning Center in Port Royal.

Bender showed the mostly inner city students that fragile life can be found even under a simple rock. He also explained how tides affect the environment while trying to catch a baby stone crab. 

“When we are done here,” he said, “we’ll gently place this rock back in place so as not to disturb where these animals live.”

Students in Claflin University’s Upward Bound program take a photo of the baby stone crab being displayed by Bob Bender.
Students in Claflin University’s Upward Bound program take a photo of the baby stone crab being displayed by Bob Bender.