Woodworth Middle School students, from left: Austin Strutz, Matthew Immel, Nathan Dietenberger, and Jaxson Hofman (back right) learn the basic of scuba diving as they show their enthusiasm of this new experience.
What does enrichment mean to you? For Mr. Gerl at Woodworth Middle School, enrichment means an opportunity to enhance existing knowledge while making the experience both fun and exciting.
Familiar with Bole's Law? How about the concept of equalization or dive tables? Let's just say Mr. Gerl has a sneaky way of incorporating both math and science theories into his lessons, while keeping students focused and excited. "The initial enrichment concept was actually quite intriguing," stated Gerl. "Having the freedom to explore various concepts and models with students, while making it applicable to real-world situations is the key."
For three weeks, students had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with Scuba diving safety, concepts, procedures and principles. When the enrichment classroom time ended, the newly learned information was put into practice.
Students had the option of taking the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Discover Scuba Diving class. Anyone who participated in the class got to experience first-hand what it is like to go subsurface while using the proper equipment. Participants assembled their own gear, suited up in the equipment, and took to the water like fish. Using the proper hand signals and equalization techniques, students were allowed to free-swim underwater in the deep end of the pool at full depth.
"When you first go down it's like?can I breathe? Will this work?" expressed Austin Clark. "?diving was a great experience and I would like to do it again" said Reece Laning.
With this experience under their belt, the door has been opened and horizons broadened. These students have had the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge by being part of an environment that many people never get to experience.
For those wishing to continue the experience, the next step is taking a certification course for open-water (lakes, rivers, quarry, etc.). Who knows, with their newly obtained understanding and experience, we could perhaps have a few fully certified divers in the future.