In this program we use the book, Island of the Blue Dolphins, as a way to introduce the giant kelp forest ecosystem around the California Channel Islands. The program begins with a demonstration of the high-tech Aqua Lung® SCUBA diving equipment we will need to use to explore the giant kelp forest around the "Island of the Blue Dolphins" -- San Nicholas Island. Students are chosen from the audience to put on the actual SCUBA equipment used on our expedition. After seeing how we adapt ourselves to visit the underwater environment we look at the key part of the ecosystem that we will be visiting -- giant kelp. During this demonstration, a specially constructed giant kelp plant is used to compare and constrast kelp plants to typical land plants.

After the demonstrations, undersea explorers, Wayne and Karen Brown, then take your students on an exciting tour of the Island of the Blue Dolphins' giant kelp forests via an exciting and fast-paced, high-definition, digital multi-image presentation.

Our expedition begins at the island of San Nicholas in the California Channel Islands, where the book, Island of the Blue Dolphins, takes place. Your students join the Browns on the expedition boat where they meet the captain and divemaster. As they hop on underwater scooters and accompany Wayne and Karen on their scuba dive, your students see the incredible diversity of life in the Island of the Blue Dolphins' giant kelp forests. Your students learn how kelp plants grow and discover how kelp forests are important natural resources. Your students will meet the animals that make the kelp forests their home. They will see a fascinating variety of marine animals big and small, from the most docile to the so-called "dangerous" marine creatures, including encounters with sharks! The students learn about the important relationships between different creatures. They also learn how fishes protect themselves from predators and how some fishes search for food.

After the multi-image presentation, your students are shown surprising examples of some of their favorite foods that contain giant kelp. As time allows, at the end of the presentation a brief time is set aside for a questions and answers.


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