I am a teacher who hired this program to give an in-class presentation. It was an excellent, engaging mix of hands-on activities and presentation format.
Tom arrived in plenty of time to set up his sizable collection of equipment. The show was about sea turtles. I learned a lot, and the students were still talking about it weeks later. The thing that made the biggest impression on them was how plastic bags end up looking like sea jellies and get ingested by leatherback turtles, who then can't get the bags out because of the sharp barbs in their throats (evolved to capture and retain the jellies). This can lead to obstructions, and in some cases, even death.
The students mentioned some of the content taught by Tom in their year-end summary. I would love to see this program grow and reach more schools.
I am a 2nd grade teacher at a small private school in Santa Cruz. Save the Whales came to our school, worked with our schedule, and produced 3 wonderfully different presentations for different grade levels. The students were engaged the entire presentation and they really not only learned a lot, but also learned how and why we need to Save our Whales! This was the third year that we have had the pleasure of Save the Whales and I am looking forward to many more years with Save the Whales!
I am a teacher at a small private school in Santa Cruz. We always look forward to the hands on approach that we receive when the Save the Whales program comes to our school. The impact on our students is tremendous. They have lessons at our school about the ocean and ocean life, but not every student gets the chance to see the footage of film that comes with this program and hear the explanation of the life of the sea otter that is presented. The children are all captivated by the instructor Tom and when he leaves the special materials, we are able to continue with the lesson that he has just presented. This is an excellent program and schools should take advantage of the instruction that this nonprofit wants to provide. We love having them come to our school and look forward to their return each year.
It is with respect and delight that I write a review for Maris and her Save the Whales organization. She has been coming to teach my fourth grade class for many years now, and I always look forward to her presentations. Maris speaks from her heart, uses interesting models, and keeps the children totally engaged in the learning process. The presentation covers many aspects of ocean conservancy that are being taught to my students....be guardians of the oceans, habitat protection, caring for animals of the oceans, oil spills, littering, and pollution of earth, air, and oceans. Maris brings materials for us to use such as posters about drains leading to the oceans, stencils for us to put around our school drains that say that these lead to the sea, whale bones and measuring of their sizes, costumes of sea otters and whale parts etc. It is always intriguing to the children, and each year I learn new facts from the presentations. It is totally honest of me to say that having Maris visit my classroom is one of our highlights of the year. We are lucky to have Maris and Tom in our community, teaching children such vital facts in a fun and organized manner. The children are the future, and they are given ocean facts and thoughts to carry with them into adulthood.
Save the Whales made 90-minute presentations on Sea Turtles to each of my three high school Biology classes a few weeks ago. I was very pleased with the pace and content. The presentation included a talk and slide show, clips of video, hands-on interactions with artifacts from preserved sea turtles to items made from sea turtles. Students were engaged and the range of topics included in the talk touiched on several aspects of biology students had studied, from evolution to surface area : volume ratios, to conservation, migration and mapping. The presenter is more expert in whale biology, but had plenty of first person interaction with sea turtles and knowledge from research of others' work and was willing to acknowledge lack of expertise if a student asked a question beyond the range of his expertise.
I was very pleased with the range and pacing of the lessons and appreciative of all the work it takes the presenter before and after his presentations to transport and set up all the materials he brings including his own sound system and all the artifacts for students to see.
The presenter also brought posters and stickers and provided us with a disk and later email with links for additional digital resources.
I am very grateful that we were able to benefit from such a great presenation. I look forward to being able to hear other presentations on whales and sea otters from this same group.
Tom presented truly hands on science of whales and mammals that was understandable by our students who are mostly English Langauge Learners. The presentation included an ocean mammal dress-up from which all the students could understand the importance of physical adaptations for life in the oceans. Additionally the slides were clear and informative to even the youngest students. We have appreciated have Save the Whales come to our school. Tom has presented to grades Kinder - 5th grades in my school. ----------M.McLoughlin, Castroville Elementary School
The Save the Whales presentation was the excellent. Tom knows how to communicate with students.His presentation gave the students the opportunity to see and touch artifacts from the sea. The pace was just right. All students, no matter how much English they understood, were able to enjoy and participate in the presentation. We gladly recommend to all schools.
My 3rd grade students have always enjoyed Tom's hands on presentations. The presentations I've participated in engage kids on all levels. The visual media, auditory component, movement activity, and the hands on objects he brings are fun. Kids even get to dress up as a sea creature. After the activities the kids generate very detailed meaningful writing. What more can you ask for?
Save The Whales provided wonderful, hands on classroom presentations for the 3rd graders at my school in Salinas, CA. Those presentations were useful in making connections to, not only science standards and social studies standards, but to math and language education as well. Many of my students live in low income neighborhoods and do not get out much due to crime in the area. Save the Whales brought the ocean and its wildlife to them, which helped enhance student's learning and understanding of articles we had read in class. Best of all the writing in my classroom was meaningful and wonderfully detailed.
Save the Whales does a great job with their presentations! Both Maris and Tom are very knowledgeable and do a wonderful job with both the watershed model and the turtle presentation. The kids really love Tom, who is known on our campus as "Tom the Turtle Guy." The hands on materials involved in each presentation bring the material alive, and the slideshows have all kinds of great videos and images.
The presentation was age appropriate, hands on and rich in content. Tom was great at engaging the kids and they learned a lot. I highly recommend Save the Whales for any elementary school aged kids who are studying the ocean ecosystem.