Surfside Middle School enjoys Bay Day

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 4:00 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It was all blue skies and open waters for Surfside students Thursday morning. They were able to get outside and explore the St. Andrews Bay.

“It’s better than doing work, I mean, it’s better than being in the classroom,” Hayley Sexton, a Surfside Middle School student, said.

“I’m excited because we get to go in the water and usually we just sit at our desks,” Sara Creel, a Surfside Middle School student, said. “This is fun to do and something to change it up.”

The students weren’t the only ones happy to be there, teachers were too.

“Obviously they’re happy to be out of class a little bit and happy to be outside,” Erin Lange, a science teacher at Surfside, said. “Just hearing them laugh and yell and stuff makes me really happy.”

For some, this was a first.

“A lot of these kids spend a lot of time on the beach, but they don’t get to see the bay a whole lot,” Lange said. “So, for a lot of them, it’s the first time they’ve ever seen this. It’s really exciting.”

While Thursday did present the students a chance to get outside of the classroom and have some fun, they did learn quite a bit too.

“They’re learning about water quality, about keeping our bay clean, why it’s important to keep our bay clean,” Lange said. “They’re learning about plankton and the importance that plankton plays in our ecosystem here in the bay. They’re also learning about microplastics.”

There was a clear favorite hands-on learning activity.

“I’m looking forward to when we get the nets out and catching fish and stuff because that’s fun,” Creel said.

“We’re going to catch some fish,” Sexton said.

Teachers hope Bay Day continues to keep students interested in science.

“Science is nature,” Lange said. “It’s really important to get kids to see the connection between what they learn in a book and what’s going on outside. Especially right here when we have access to this.”

Bay Day has been a Surfside tradition for 32 years. Teachers say they will continue this tradition for years to come.

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