Category Archives: Educational Programs

Palm Beach Day Academy visits the Cape Eleuthera Institute

palm beach day academy cape eleuthera institute
Josef Huainigg and Lyon Foster diving at Somethin’ 2 See on their first full day in Eleuthera.

Seven students from The Palm Beach Day Academy, in Palm Beach, Florida, kicked off a busy December at the Cape Eleuthera Institute with a five day program focused on marine ecology and sustainability. As most visitors staying on campus, not only were students taking navy showers to reduce their water use and save some precious rainwater, but they also had a chance to visit some of the vital ecosystems this island is known for. We had a few certified SCUBA divers in this group and were able to head out to a reef just off of the Exuma Sound. Somethin’ 2 See, as the reef is known, is shallow enough for a great snorkel but deep enough for a colorful and exciting SCUBA dive.

palm beach day academy cape eleuthera institute
Talia Chachkes & Lead Outdoor Educator, Tiffany Gray getting friendly with a yellowline arrow crab found around 25 ft atop the aquaculture cage.

Another highlight was snorkeling in 80 feet of water at the aquaculture cage to kill some time before hauling a deep water longline with Brendan Talwar, M.S. candidate at Florida State University. Brendan is researching the survivorship of deepwater sharks, specifically Cuban dogfish, after they are caught on a longline set 500-700 m deep. Students were able to support Brendan’s work by helping the shark research team work up the 4 Cuban dogfish caught that day, while others snorkeled off the boat in deep blue water as the sharks are pulled onto the boat for analysis. The sharks are then released in a cage and monitored by GoPro for the next 24 hours before they are released.

Each morning at 6:30 am students met for morning exercise to start off their day. One of the most popular workouts is the run-swim. Students run a short distance and swim a short distance then jump off a high ledge and run-swim back to campus. Waking up is always the hardest part but so worth it for an energetic morning work out to get your day started.

Students overall got a sense of some of the research conducted at the Cape Eleuthera Institute while also learning about mangroves, coral reefs, and what it means to live sustainably. We hope to see some of these bright faces back for shark week this summer or even Island School students in the future. Thanks for coming down Palm Beach Day!


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Lyford Cay ‘Take Action’ Projects Get Inspiration from CEI Visit

Lyford Cay permaculture farm
Students worked in the CEIS farm in order to better understand permaculture as a potential sustainable solution for their communities.

Last week, a group of grade 8 students from the Lyford Cay International School flew over from Nassau to visit the Cape Eleuthera Island School. These sixteen students made it their mission to develop an idea for their year-long Take Action projects. The projects, focused on environmental stewardship, look to empower the students to push for sustainable solutions to the problems which plague their school or community. Over their three-day visit, the students focused on learning about alternative energy, water conservation, waste and plastics pollution, and permaculture.

Shortly after their arrival, students were exposed to the CEIS’s renewable energy systems during a tour of campus. Then, with the help of sustainability teacher Mike Cortina, the students explored different ways we harness energy from our environment here on campus: solar thermal to heat water as well as photovoltaic and wind to create electricity. The students were also introduced to biodiesel production, one of the crown jewels of our alternative energy systems. Continue reading

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Lyford Cay Students Explore Sustainability

Conch flared lip caliper Lyfor Cay
Lyford Cay grade 12 student Sean Blyden uses calipers to measure the thickness of the flared lip on a queen conch. This indicates maturity and can be used to assess the sustainability of conch harvest around Cape Eleuthera.

In the last week of October, CEI welcomed Lyford Cay International School’s two classes for their annual visit.

Denise Mizell, a science teacher at Lyford Cay, brought grade 10 to CEIS for some hands-on learning about sustainability. Students discussed the positive impacts they can each individually have on the natural world around them. Activities exploring research areas in aquaponics and permaculture opened the students’ eyes to how difficult and often damaging it is to pull resources from the natural world. The kids were challenged to think of ways they can better improve resource management on their own campus. Snorkeling, exploring Eleuthera’s caves, and climbing the Banyan tree reinforced this idea of sustainability and inspired students to become passionate about their world and how to protect it. Continue reading

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South Eleuthera Primary Schools Explore Marine Invertebrates & Sustainable Systems

Green Castle primary EP
Green Castle students discussing characteristics and adaptations of the invertebrates found.

Green Castle Primary School’s teacher, Ms. Mary Thompson, brought her class of students in grades 5 & 6 for a marine invertebrate and snorkel trip at the Cape Eleuthera Institute last Tuesday. Students first discussed 4 common invertebrate phyla they might find: cnidarians, echinoderms, porifera, and mollusks. Then they headed out to snorkel off the beach! This was an exciting trip for students who examined the different invertebrates we found such as cushion sea stars, a brittle star, juvenile conch, a sea anemone, rose coral, and even a little periwinkle.

EP Local schools
(Top) Wemyss Bight students are excited after winning a sustainability competition. (Bottom) Green Castle students pose for a group shot after snorkeling.

On Wednesday, Ms. Nathalie Sweeting with Wemyss Bight Primary grade 4 came for a trip to explore some of the sustainable systems on campus. Students started off reviewing the differences between renewable and nonrenewable resources. Then the class headed out to various systems around campus so that they could see these concepts in action. Their first stop was the dining hall cistern to measure how much water we had at the time and to talk about water conservation. Then they headed over to the wind turbine and solar panels to discuss some of the differences between how we get our energy and where they get theirs at home. A highlight for students was the aquaponics system where sustainability teacher, Adam Dusen, caught a few Tilapia and described how the system works to produce fish and hydroponically grown plants for consumption in the dining hall. It was great to get a close-up look at the unique system. Continue reading

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Brookwood School Visits CEI

Brookwood School students and teachers recently headed back to Massachusetts after their school’s first visit to Cape Eleuthera Institute. During their 6-day adventure the group was able to learn more about the sustainability initiatives in practice around campus and explore some of the local environments. After visiting these places, students were able to develop a better understanding of the impact that they as individuals and humans have on the marine environment.

Brookwood Educational Programs paige creek snorkel
Out for a snorkel in Paige Creek after learning about the importance of mangrove systems.

Students started off their adventure with field lessons in coral reef and mangrove ecology. When snorkeling to explore these areas, many were surprised by the warm water temperature and the abundance of colorful fish. So different from the coastal waters back home in the New England area! The group spent a lot of time in the water; they snorkeled above the aquaculture cage, explored some patch reefs, swam in a blue hole, visited Lighthouse Beach, and even went out on a night snorkel! Continue reading

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Local High School Teachers Consider Sustainability as a Part of Curriculum

PHAHS Teach 1
PHAHS teachers tour the CEIS farm and orchard looking at native Bahamian plant resources and sustainable practices.

Teachers and Vice Principal, Ms. Knowles, from Preston H. Albury High School came to visit during teacher’s planning week in late August. This visit served as the start to a collaboration regarding ways that CEI may support their curriculum planning with a focus on scientific research, native Bahamian resources, and small island sustainability. We hope that teachers of all subject areas, not just biology and the sciences but also math, English, art and other subjects, see a connection with the projects we have here at CEIS. Continue reading

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Oceanside and Camden Hills- visiting programs at CEI

 Earlier this month was the return of Camden Hills Regional High School for their sixth visit to CEI, and Oceanside High School’s second trip alongside Camden. It was another stellar​ year of exploration, science, research and reflection.

DSCF0108Students focused on research during their time at CEI​. They were not only getting out there and assisting our resident scientists with their data collection, b​ut also coming back to the lab, sifting through video footage, % cover of seagrass and trying to work out where all the conch have gone. For these students science came alive. They were able to see what goes into real research, where time, weather, tide, and sharing resources play factors into every minute of every day.

Two students IDing some seagrass out in the field
Two students IDing some seagrass out in the field

The students final presentations were outstanding. With only three – four field days and approximately 10 hours of data analysis and thought time, they provided the community with well-rounded projects. Not only did they analyze data, they were able to offer thoughtful insights into why their research matters. Continue reading

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Eleutheran Explorers Camp is a Huge Success!

 Eleutheran Explorers Camp is a Huge Success

Last week CEI was graced with 13 kiddos here for our annual Eleuthera Explorers Summer Camp! It was a jam packed week full of smiles, snorkeling, adventures, challenges, tears, homesickness but most of all LOTS of laughs!

Both Eleuthera Explorers Kids Camp, ages 9-12, and Eleuthera Explorers Teen camp, ages 13-15, had the opportunity to head ‘down island’ as far as glass window bridge. The group stopped up at the Governor’s Harbour Junkanoo shack for a little creative pasting and rush out. Teen camp had the chance to scuba dive and Kayak during their program, both a highlight for all!

A camper explores the reef at fourth hole beach after learning about coral reef ecologyP1050282
The campers make traditional bahamian junkanoo headdresses out of recyclable materials


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Visiting Program from Muncton gets involved with all aspects of CEI!

Muncton diving the cage.
Muncton diving the cage.

Things are heating up here at CEI!  Students are on campus, summer is on the way, and the adventures are everywhere.  The Educational Programs team wrapped up the month of February with a returning group from Muncton High School in Canada.  The blog for this group was written by student Jana Giles.

On our first day we all safely arrived at the Cape Eleuthera Institute. The view of the islands and ocean from the plane was absolutely incredible–the water was completely turquoise! Before even unpacking, we were already on the beach, and we finally enjoyed an amazing supper after a long day!

turttle mike Continue reading

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A Look at Animals and Habitats with Tarpum Bay Primary

Tarpum Bay Primary Grade 1 Students arrive at The Island School
Tarpum Bay Primary Grade 1 Students arrive at The Island School

Fourteen students from Ms. Carey’s first grade class came to CEI to study animals & their different habitats.  During their field trip they explored the farm and investigated some of the plants and animals they found.  Discussion was had about how plants and animals all need basic things to survive.

The kids explored the farm and got to feed the pigs
The kids explor with Center for Sustainable Design (CSD) permaculturist, Adam Dusen

At the Wege Center for Sustainable Fisheries, they learned about the differences in marine animals by observing lionfish, conch, lobster, and tilapia.

Educational Programs Lead Teacher Tiffany Gray demonstrates how the tilapia aquaculture system works
Educational Programs Lead Teacher Tiffany Gray demonstrates how the tilapia aquaculture system works

The children took note that plants and animals live in different places and have different needs, according to their different traits.

Investigating traits of the queen conch
Investigating traits of the queen conch

For more information about the Cape Eleuthera Institute’s Educational Programs, please visit


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