Around Bosco: New Marine Biology Course Added to Curriculum
By. Robert Visty III
St. John Bosco High School added a new course to its semester one curriculum: Marine Biology. Spearheaded by Bosco alumnus and environmental science teacher Mr. Ruben Solorza, the class aims to expand on the unit of marine biology previously taught within Environmental Science.
“Last year in Environmental Science, I told Mr. Solorza that I liked marine biology, and he told me, ‘Let us create a class,’ and so now here we are,” said marine biology student and senior Myles Vaughn.
Student enthusiasm is abundant in the Marine Biology classroom. Many students in this year’s course were in the previous Environmental Science class, and because of this previous experience, they are quite passionate about the new course and its subject matter.
“A lot of students were excited about the marine biology unit in last year’s Environmental Science class,” said Mr. Solorza. “There was a lot of student support, so I’m glad we did it,” said Mr. Solorza
This year, Mr. Solorza plans on doing multiple extracurricular activities with the Marine Biology class, including dissecting squid and a trip down to the tide pools at Palos Verdes. In addition, Mr. Solorza intends on expanding the curriculum in the following years, hoping to add more immersive activities for students to participate in.
“I’d like to make the course more hands-on as each year goes,” Mr. Solorza said. “More lab activities going out to the actual ocean, the beach, visiting the aquariums, as much outside time as we can get. Getting our hands dirty in the classroom would be great for learning.”
Most of all, Mr. Solorza wants his students to learn to appreciate the ocean and the role it plays in our lives.
“My big takeaway for this class is understanding that [the ocean] impacts our life in such a big way that I think it’s important to realize the role we have with the ocean and how it affects our lives as well,” said Mr. Solorza
“When you care about something, you’re more likely to do something about it”
The Marine Biology class isn’t only about fish anatomy. It intends to reinforce to the environmental science course from which it grew. Mr. Solorza seeks to drive home the message of conservation and environmentalism, which he finds so important to instill in today’s youth.
“We live in a time where our world is experiencing many different new patterns in terms of climate change, and I think there’s a disconnect that people don’t realize what role the ocean plays in that,” Mr. Solorza said. “We love going to the beach. We love the animals that live there, and to protect them and keep the system running, we need to care for our ocean and protect it.”