All students need to feel a sense of ownership and identify with what they are learning. More and more teachers are realizing that creating curriculum associated with where students live and what’s familiar to them is a wonderful way to empower them.

The Lobster Literacy Conference, which took place on Dec. 3-4 at the Island Institute in Rockland, built on this learning philosophy, using lobster as the jumping off point. The conference brought together educators, scientists, anthropologists and lobster fishermen to discuss how to best move ahead with this initiative.

Teachers learned about the lobster life cycle, the lobster fishing culture, and how to grow lobster larvae in the classroom. By the end of the two-day conference educators left with a plan on how to incorporate what they had learned into their schools and the where resources within their communities were available.

Some schools will raise lobster larvae in the classroom with technical support from the Lobster Conservancy, while other schools will interview lobstermen and learn more about their community through them.

At the conference, partnerships came together from North Haven, Chebeague Island, Long Island, Vinalhaven and many other communities.

This event received support from the Island Institute, The Lobster Conservancy, and the New England Center for Ocean Sciences Educational Excellence (NE COSEE).