Ashley High to host open house for Marine Science Academy

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As part of Ashley High School's Marine Science Academy, students can become SCUBA certified. Photo courtesy New Hanover County Schools.
As part of Ashley High School’s Marine Science Academy, students can become SCUBA certified. Photo courtesy New Hanover County Schools.

Calling all budding underwater explorers: Ashley High’s Marine Science Academy is seeking new members for the coming school year.

With the application process for the fledgling program now underway, Ashley will host an informational open house for interested students and parents from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5. The Marine Science Academy is open to all juniors and seniors in New Hanover County.

Created in 2013 by former Ashley principal Kenneth Bowen and longtime educator Sandra Cecelski, the district’s fledgling program offers students the chance to take on college-level classes, field research and lab work. It’s a concept that got off the ground through partnerships with the district, UNC-Wilmington, Cape Fear Community College and the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Students also get the opportunity to earn college credit through UNCW and CFCC, work one-on-one with scientists and engage in internships and summer enrichment programs, among other highlights. And, of course, they get to hit the beach and waterways close to home and across the east coast for various excursions, including snorkeling, volunteering, kayaking and collecting data.

“The Marine Science Academy is designed to nurture the next generation of marine scientists as they explore possible solutions to many of our complex environmental challenges of our community, coastal ocean, and the world,” said Cecelski, a veteran teacher with nearly three decades of experience in the subject matter.

Applications are available on Ashley High School’s website and are due no later than April 15. Just 25 students will be accepted into the academy for 2016-17.

For more information, contact Cecelski, sandra.cecelski@nhcs.net or (910) 790-2360 ext. 419.

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