Why are you here?

Why do you want to learn how to dive?

Who inspired you to go in this direction?

Where do you think diving will take you?

This isn't a pop quiz or essay assignment: all of these questions were posed to our SEA TURTLEs during a recent guest lecture. Paul Leonard, a Penguin exhibit staff person at the Aquarium, asked our students to think about the decisions that made them explore diving.

Some of the answers were easy to come by. An interest in seeing the world from under the waves, their work here at the Aquarium inspiring them to learn more, wanting the experience of being in another universe all were things expressed. Some answers were harder as many of our students don't know what is out there in the world of SCUBA.

Paul talks to the class

To make it fair, Paul answered all of these questions from his perspective and shed some light on a few opportunities available to our students. He described his connections with the ocean as a child, his inspirations (Bob Ballard, Sylvia Earle and Jacques Cousteau) and how he wanted to learn more about ocean life. All of these things pushed him to learn how to dive and to explore his new passion.

Too many questions!

In addition, Paul was able to describe another avenue for the students to explore diving. Paul has the honor of belonging to the Boston Sea Rovers, a group of highly-esteemed divers that help to educate people about diving and to further the sport throughout the world. (Read Paul's guest entry on the GOT Blog for more information about his involvement in the Boston Sea Rovers!) They hold a yearly clinic with classes for people to refine and learn new skills as well as the chance for people to network with other divers. It's a great opportunity for a new diver to go deeper and to connect with people of similar interests.

The students were very interested in learning about Sea Rovers and were fascinated by Paul's experience. Here's what one student said about the presentation:

Paul told us about the organization called the Boston Sea Rovers and the potential scholarship opportunities. He spoke about different famous divers which was great because I didn't know about any beforehand. We learned especially about Sylvia Earle and Robert Ballard (who discovered the Titanic wreck). Dr. Ballard is now doing a project on the Black Sea and when I got home that night I researched all about it. This lecture particularly inspired me to want to learn and train towards being an ocean explorer and coming up with my own questions and discover! -Oriana

Oriana, Isaiah and Evan listen

Yet another great guest lecture that clearly made an impact on the SEA TURTLEs! It's been awesome to watch the class become aware of all of the great experiences and opportunities that will be open to them as divers. And one of the biggest opportunities, the Bahamas trip, is coming soon. I hope that everyone is looking forward to it as much as I am! More fun to come!

- Jo

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Comments left in this section do not represent the views of the New England Aquarium. Due to the large volume of questions received, staff cannot respond to individual comments but will consider them when planning future blog posts.