The three finalists who get the most online votes by February 2nd will each earn USD $5000 for their project. Log on with your vote today at www.changemakers.com/coasts.Ocean Academy was founded in 2008 as the first non-profit community high school on Caye Caulker (www.cayecaulkerschool.com). In addition to the Form I-IV standard curriculum, Ocean Academy offers many specialized and site-based programs. Aquatic Careers in Tourism (ACT P.E.) classes include scuba certification, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing and swimming. In the World of Work (WOW) Apprenticeship Program students can shadow a variety of career options, such as assisting marine biologists with a mangrove restoration project, coral reef surveys and beach cleanups. Other popular elective choices include Tour Guide Training, and Graphic Design. Science students research practical solutions to waste management on a small island. Instruction is hands-on, interactive, and relevant to real-life issues.
Ocean Academy’s school motto is “Protecting our Heritage, Creating our Future”. Environmental education and sustainable tourism are important studies to fulfilling that vision. Nationally, a Caye Caulker Ocean Academy student was honoured in 2009 with Youth for the Future’s Environmental Award. Locally, the Caye Caulker Village Council granted funds in 2010 for the school’s composting project and small business venture of culinary herb sales. The international panel of judges for Geotourism 2010 is very impressed with Ocean Academy’s innovative approach to education and commitment to youth engagement in Belize. They also like the school’s inclusion of the skill sets offered by voluntourists (tourists who travel to a destination specifically to volunteer).