Photo Courtesy of VIUDeepBay via Flickr - License

Photo Courtesy of VIUDeepBay via Flickr – License

Trevor Mendelow founded Teens4Oceans in 2007 at the Kent Denver School, in an attempt to engage high school students in marine biology conservation efforts. The program later evolved into an advocacy program for teens, and by teens, to recognize the importance of protecting our planet’s oceanic habitats.

Today, Teens4Oceans has grown into an expansive teaching program, while staying true to its advocacy roots. We’re proud to say that the program is now headquartered in Boulder, adding to our local community of ocean conservationists.

Teens4Oceans focuses on inspiring high schoolers to learn about oceanic environments. For students who are already interested, it offers the necessary tools to expand their knowledge while living in the landlocked state of Colorado. The T4O team believes that hands-on learning is the best way to show kids that science is engaging, dynamic, and more than just textbooks.

Their Mobile Ocean Inspiration Center is an excellent example of this philosophy. It’s a hands-on marine science lab where students gain experience working with real marine life and marine technologies. Currently, the lab is located at the butterfly pavilion in Westminster.

T4O also recently added the Mobile Ocean Bus. The traveling marine lab allows T4O members to educate other teens across the greater Denver area and beyond.

Students who join this organization are given opportunities to travel the world with the T4O expedition program. The program has taken its participants to Mexico on a mission to monitor sea turtles, around North America to study beavers, down to the Florida Keys to participate in the goliath grouper project, and throughout the Caribbean to assist various coral reef restoration programs (our favorite expedition). Teens4Oceans maintains a list of upcoming expeditions on their website for interested students.

The ocean advocacy group has also impressed us with their dedication to the cutting edge of science technologies. Their newly-implemented live ocean virtual reality cameras take teens below the surface without actually getting wet.

Similarly, the program maintains cameras across the globe in order to study ocean life, including some focused on our favorite marine invertebrates. Local aquatic store owner, Mike Park, was instrumental in designing, building, and installing the cameras and their housings. Park’s collaboration is a testament to the cohesiveness the T4O program has helped foster in the local aquatics community.

The live streams are a fantastic way for the entire T4O team to experience the underwater world without traveling around the globe.

For all T4O’s devotion to marine biology, we respect the program’s dedication to science as an entity. Teens4Oceans instills the importance of the scientific method into high school students. This includes the “boring” parts of science, as well.

We commend Teens4Oceans for their hard work within the marine biology and ocean conservation communities. Interest in saving our planet’s oceans is vital in landlocked states. Children across the country should know that their distance from the ocean doesn’t mean the study of marine life is any less interesting or valuable.

At AcroOptics, we are staunch supporters of marine conservation, and we are happy to promote the protection of coral reefs in all of the work that we do. If you’re interested in learning more about growing coral reefs at home, or have questions about reef life in general, get in touch with us. We would love to discuss our passion for coral with anyone who is willing to listen.