Career Day at Baldwin High School

Part of my duties as shop manager is to create and perform Outreach projects with the community. I contact schools and youth organizations and offer to give different types of presentations such as: Marine life identification, environmental concerns, or career opportunities in the diving industry.

When I approached Kathy Knowlton, a science teacher at Baldwin High School, she requested that I incorporate both career and marine life identification into my presentation for her class. So I created a nice little PowerPoint project where I listed different aspects of careers. The slides were about dive professionals, owner/operators, boating operations, marine biology, and Emergency First Response (CPR & first aid). I also took along the REEF Fish ID program.

To get everyone’s attention, I picked up my favorite Pascal print from the shop, which you see in the photo here. I had a lot of fun carrying this across the Baldwin campus at lunchtime. There were a lot of double-takes and curious stares. When I entered the empty classroom I placed the print up on the whiteboard where it really stood out. As 34 students filled the room, there was a lot of murmuring going on. Finally I heard one ask “Where did that come from?”

This was my cue. I held it up and told them that I had purchased it from the artist, Pascal, at DEMA, a scuba convention. Pascal travels the world selling his beautiful renditions of underwater life. I pointed out that they could make a living doing exactly that. I then asked everyone what they thought of when they thought of jobs. One guy hollered out “mechanic”, a young woman suggested “travel agent”, another student said “fireman”. This opened up a lively 65 minute discussion on how these jobs and others related to the many different dive industry career opportunities right here on Maui and around the world. Many questions were asked about marine life as well, so I told them we could incorporate both of my presentations into one and away we went.

Some of my favorites moments were when I would ask specific questions such as “What endemic marine mammal is endangered?” Shouts of “whales” and “dolphins” filled the room, but when I heard “monk seal” I threw him a MDDC t-shirt! From that point on whenever I asked a question everyone yelled out in the hopes of earning another t-shirt. That was so much fun!!!

I have given these types of presentations at Maui Community College, Kamehameha High School, as well as in our own classrooms. It is always a treat for me, and I hope for the students as well! If you know of a group of kids or adults that would enjoy something like this be sure to let us know!