Julie Bursek pointed to a PowerPoint slide describing the sooty shearwater, a sea bird that makes a 10,000-mile trek from Chile, along the Pacific Coast, through the Channel Islands and sometimes across to Asia. “It travels on air currents sometimes and feeds in the local waters and it comes right here to the Channel Islands,” Bursek, team leader for educational outreach at the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary, explained.Her audience wasn’t a group of researchers, not in the traditional sense anyway. They were incoming seniors from Hueneme High School’s Engineering Design Science Career Pathway (EDCP) program attending a Summer Bridge seminar.
“We’re starting our fourth year in the program,” said Karen Chadwick, assistant principal at Hueneme High School. “It’s a cohort of science, social science, engineering, mathematics and English classes the kids follow during their four years in high school.” The program is funded by a $5 million grant from Oxnard College’s Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics program as well as a grant from Ventura County’s P-16 program, a council of business leaders, educators and community leaders.