OKES Teacher's Science Program Subject of Magazine Article
Old Kings Elementary School science teacher Carly Stasa has been recognized for her sea turtle rescue project in the December 2023 issue of STEM magazine, a science education periodical.
The cover story on the 18-year teaching veteran who has created the Turtle Conservation project at OKES, where she teaches first grade. Prior to joining Flagler Schools, Stasa partnered with the Marine Science Center in Volusia County, where the project was known as The Turtle Rescuers.
The article, written by Jean M. Wallace, explains how Stasa developed an integrated approach that combines academics with conservation efforts on behalf of sea turtles, and how she connected with the district’s science department which already had an established connection with sea turtles through the non-profit Inwater Research Group when she joined Flagler Schools. IRG has traveling turtle trunks that have life-like sea turtles that students can use to collect data such as measuring and weighing them and are tagged with a QR codes that give each one’s “history.”
Students learn both in the classroom and through field trips to the beach where they have helped count sea turtle eggs and have watched hatchlings making their way to the ocean. They also meet periodically with marine life experts on an ongoing basis. Stasa is quoted in the article, “The impact I have seen over the years in my classroom is huge. After teaching all these years, I have never seen classes bond together like I have seen since doing this project. I will continue to teach this way as long as I am able to!”
Naturally, OKES and the district are excited about one of our educators being covered by a respected science publication.
Said Heidi Alves, Teaching & Learning Specialist for Flagler Schools, “Carly Stasa's remarkable initiative in spearheading the Turtle Conservation project at Old Kings Elementary School, in collaboration with Flagler Schools, is truly commendable. Harnessing her passion and extensive knowledge of sea turtles, she has transformed her enthusiasm into a catalyst for environmental stewardship among her students.”
The Flagler County Education Foundation helped secure lab coats and magnifying glasses for Stasa’s students, which makes them feel more like scientists.