Shelby Academy student accepted to Discovery Hall Program

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 29, 2008

On Monday, April 28, Caitlin Erin Wilke, a junior at Shelby Academy, received the news that she had been accepted to the Summer Discovery Hall Program for 10th through 12th graders at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Dauphin Island, Ala.

Caitlin has always wanted to study marine biology. She has participated in activities like swimming with the Beluga Whales at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas and being a dolphin trainer for a day at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Fla. Last year, Caitlin decided that she wanted to try for the Discovery Hall Program and took a trip to Dauphin Island to tour the facilities and talk to the registrar of the program. After that trip, she was determined to become a student of the program.

Approximately 30 applicants out of all received applications are accepted based on grades, a written essay and recommendations from teachers. The length of the course is four weeks, during which time the students live on campus and participate in over 160 hours of supervised academic activities on marine life. Students spend a large portion of their time in the field exploring and examining different marine communities. Some of the field activities include the exploration of a salt marsh community, beach profiling, reef fishing and trawling aboard the Sea Lab’s 65 foot research vessel, the A.E. Verrill. Each student must do a research project during the course and present it to the faculty on the last day of the program.

Caitlin will receive credit toward her high school diploma at Shelby Academy for the course