Kathleen DeLussey (2012) Sparks Passion for the Ocean

After returning from her Teacher at Sea (TAS) cruise in 2012, Kathleen DeLussey, wasted no time sharing her experience with her third-grade students. In September 2012, Ms. DeLussey created a project, “Teacher at Sea—Third Graders Learning and Loving Oceans”, requesting public funding for ocean related non-fiction reading materials through Donors Choose. She received nearly $600 worth of non-fiction books that were the beginning of a multidisciplinary unit of study to build ocean literacy. 

Ms. DeLussey shared her NOAA TAS experience with her students prior to their research of ocean topics. They then wrote their own ocean-themed books, built ocean models, created hallway ocean displays and wrote persuasive letters to local representatives and President Obama asking them to protect oceans and ocean life.  

“My students were so engaged! They were so eager! They were so…connected!”  

DeLussey and her students’ passion for the ocean spread to the staff at Lowell School and to the Philadelphia community. Teachers and volunteers from the community worked together to paint a mural at their school called Sky, Land, Sea.  

“The mural faces a busy urban street and has become a point of dialogue in the community. It sends the message: We care about our planet. The value of the Teacher at Sea program has greatly influenced the students and staff at my school in a way that first educated and then allowed us to show our care and concern for NOAA and our Earth’s Oceans,” said DeLussey. 

Donations from the community helped Ms. DeLussey take her class to the NJ Aquarium as a culminating unit activity.

A woman stands next to a TowCam aboard a ship with the ocean off to the right.
Kate DeLussey with TowCam on Henry B. Bigelow