Click on the titles below to find information about each step of the project, including where/when to collect marine debris, a step-by-step tutorial on how to create your fish mosaic, and information on aging your fish!
Collecting marine debris
If you haven't already, now is the time to get out and start collecting marine debris!! Here are some tidbits you may find helpful:
Where and When should I collect marine debris?
Our friends at Island Trails Network have the following recommendations:
Each fish will be unique, but here's what our samples look like! Fish are approximately 12 inches long and 5 inches tall.
Creating your mosaic
After you've picked up your kit on April 10, it's time to get to work creating your masterpiece!
Step 1: Gather your supplies. In addition to the supplies provided, you'll need a hammer if you choose to use the nails/tacks and a sharpie to write your name on the fish.
Step 2: Find the side of the fish with the green tape and write your FULL name on it, preferably with sharpie.
Step 3: Before you paint, orient your fish! You'll want to use the side without the green tape on it. It should be facing LEFT with the holes on top.
Paint your fish and let it dry. (If you have other acrylic paints, feel free to use and be creative, but remember - it's going to get covered up!)
Step 4: Attach Marine Debris!
Method 1: Using Wood Glue
When to use this method: with smaller pieces of plastic, and light weight bigger items as well.
Apply wood glue to fish in small spot where your debris will go, in a somewhat thick layer. Add the marine debris and press down. For bigger pieces, you can use binder clips as clamps!
Let dry without disturbing for 30 minutes - 1 hour. The wood glue will dry clear.
Method 2: Nail down with tacks
When to use this method: with heavier pieces you don't think will stay on with wood glue, but not good for brittle items.
Place your debris where you want it on the fish and hammer down. IF you have thicker pieces of debris you'll need longer nails!
Expert tip: If you've got brittle plastic that you want to nail down, try drilling a hole through it first to avoid having it split.
Method 3: Simply use the material to attach.
Some things are meant to just be attached! See the fish "glasses" below for an example. Be creative!
You'll likely use a combination of all methods, as we did for our samples. Be sure to let your fish sit untouched for 30 minutes -1 hour when you're finished.
Don't forget to bring your fish back!! We want to display our fish swimming together and the more fish, the more awesome it will look!!! Don't worry, you'll get your fish back.
AGe YOUR FISH
Did you know that marine debris takes a LONG TIME to break down?
Use the photos below, and find the item on your fish that would have lasted the longest on the beach, and that's how old your fish is.
For our older youth, add up the number of years for each item on your fish, and THAT's the age of the fish.
Write your fish's age on the back of the fish with your name.
Wonder who has the oldest fish?
Learning about Marine Debris
Below are some useful links for learning more about marine debris!
Marine Debris Activies & Curricula: Download an assortment of puzzles, brain-teasers, coloring activities, and formal curricula for Grades 1-12 from NOAA.
Educator's Guide: Designed as a stand-alone teaching tool or to supplement lessons for educators in both formal and informal settings, NOAA.
Alaska Seas and Watersheds: These online Alaska Seas and Watersheds teaching activities, developed by Alaska teachers, provide high-quality lesson plans and units for use by teachers and homeschoolers, as well as interpreters, youth groups, nature tour guides, and anyone seeking fascinating content on marine and associated watershed science topics. SeaGrant Alaska
Videos about Marine Debris: Check out some of the awesome "TRASH TALKS" videos available on this site.
Learn about what's being done locally by Island Trails Network:
April 10: Fish Kit Pick Up
11am-6PM, Kate will be there between 11am-12 so if you want to chat, come then!
Where? On Near Island at the UAF Kodiak Seafood & Marine Science Center (KSMSC). 118 Trident Way. After you cross the bridge, take your first left and then it's the first driveway on the left. Just walk up the path and you'll see the totes by the door!
April 11: Zoom Gathering at 5PM
Join Kate Schaberg, Kodiak 4-H, and Hana Reyes, Island Trails Network, for an interactive gathering, where we will provide information about the art project and explore the topic of Marine Debris.
Anytime before April 17: Fish Drop Off
PLEASE drop your fish off (with name on back) to KSMSC (the same place you picked your kit up) so we can display them downtown!
Visit your fish downtown at the Kodiak History Museum & The Kodiak Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
Week of April 26:
Pick your fish up at KSMSC and give it a lovely home!
The local Audobon group is having their Winter Birds presentation THIS FRIDAY!! On Friday, December 11, at 6:30, Rich MacIntosh and Robin Corcoran will present a slideshow with identification tips on the Winter Birds of Kodiak. This would be great to attend so kids can know which birds are visiting their bird feeder!!! You have to register ahead, link is below :)
Feeding your starter (as explained in video):
Thursday evening: 1/4 cup warm water, 1/3 cup flour
Friday: 3/4 cup warm water, 1 cup flour
Saturday: 1 + 1/2 cup warm water, 2 cups flour
Sunday: 3/4 cup warm water, 1 cup flour (once or twice depending on amount you need..if only doing once, feed it in the evening)
Note: Leave sourdough on counter, covered with towel in between feeding. Sourdough should be bubbly each morning when you check it. That indicates it is alive and well!
If you weren't able to get a kit, and want to do this event with us, we copied some excellent information about starting your own sourdough from this excellent book
As always, many thanks to our 4-H parents, who always (and especially now) are imperative to keeping 4-H alive!
4-H & Youth Development
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Cooperative Extension State Office
1751 Tanana Loop, Room 209
Fairbanks, AK 99775