Written by island educator, Isabelle Holt.
Having Portland High School out as a school group was another first for us this spring season! While we have had several Portland High students out as participants in our summer programs it was great to have a cohesive group of students (including one returner who was on the island two summers ago) and teachers together for a wonderful three days of education and fun.
In a program full of highlights something that stood out for me was being able to have students engage with marine debris solutions through making art with the objects we found. Each student made their own mobile using an old wire coat hanger and whatever marine trash they had found. Together we strung up our mobiles into a gallery of sorts that represented the different kinds of tash we find washed up on Hurricane’s shores. In addition to making visual art we also had an impromptu jam session, making music together with whatever rhythms we could coax out of our marine debris.
We spent a lot of time talking about sustainability and Hurricane Island’s sustainable off the grid systems while Portland High was on island. After which they had the rather unfortunate experience of what it’s like when you overuse a resource on Hurricane. Some overly long showers used up all of the water that had been pumped up into the water holding takes from the quarry that day, which led to a great conversation about where our water comes from and how we can reduce water consumption even when we are on the mainland.
The energy and enthusiasm the Portland High students brought to everything they did on the island - from games of Uno with the Cambridge School of Weston students who were also on the island at the time to some seriously quality kitchen dance parties while doing dishes - will be sorely missed.
Come back soon Portland High!