Students earn underwater diving certification

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Students at the Ohana Institute in Inlet Beach have a unique opportunity to become certified divers.

Students at the Ohana Institute earn their underwater diving certification as part of the school's curriculum. (WJHG/WECP)

Students take their learning out of the classroom and under the sea...or rather the Gulf in this case.

Twenty-four students in grades 7th through 12th and five teachers have earned their underwater diving certifications.

"So what they do is, they go to the local reefs and they dive and they explore and they identify fish and they begin to see what it’s like to be underwater," said Lettye Burgtorf, founder of Ohana Institute.

State Representative Chris Latvala says the way they focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and the arts can be replicated at other schools.

"What they do here is fascinating and can certainly be used in other education settings around the state of Florida," said Latvala.

Burgtorf says the students also want to help their community.

"Our goal is to work with the county to be able to study the reefs and to help them be healthy. And so we'll take data and all the information needed to be able to do that as time goes by," said Burgtorf.

And making a difference, she says, is a part of everything they teach.

Thursday the Ohana Institute held their 8th annual Global Education Conference, where students got to teach educators from around the state about their unique programs.

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