Big Blue Dream

O'Neill Sea Odyssey, the oceangoing marine science classroom, nears an astonishing milestone: 100,000 students served.

by Hilltromper staff

May 1, 2017—A year from now, an O'Neill Sea Odyssey crew member will hand a bright orange lifejacket to a student who boards the 65-foot catamaran Team O'Neill, and history will be made. Sometime in May or June of 2018, the innovative ocean science classroom is on track to teach its 100,000th student about plankton, sea otters and navigation in a bold bid to inspire the next generation of ocean stewards.

Since its first class at sea in 1996, OSO has taught 92,765 Central California 4th-, 5th- and 6th-graders, many from underserved communities, about marine science, ecology and a real-world application for math. OSO often provides students with their first meaningful encounter with the ocean. And a long-term study has shown the lessons learned on OSO field trips about marine pollution stay with students (read about it in How to Save The Sea Otters). The value of such a program in an era of alternative facts and disregard for science is easy to see.

To mark the lead-up to this milestone, OSO today launched the 100,000th Student Campaign. There you can look at Jasper Lyons' stunning photo gallery, watch video interviews with students on its blog, donate or even become a campaign sponsor.

Check it out. It will restore your faith in humanity.