Marymount of Santa Barbara electives are a popular part of the Marymount Middle School curriculum. Whether it is hiking Half Dome in Yosemite, learning to play the guitar, interviewing civic leaders and business owners, surfing, or experimenting with French cooking, Marymount students love the opportunity to learn new skills through their elective choices.

SCUBA is perhaps at the top of the list of popular electives. Marymount teacher Karen Keltner, who leads the SCUBA elective, came to Marymount with a wealth of experience in SCUBA diving, as well as marine biology, environmental conservation, sustainability, fitness and outdoor adventure.

Having worked at Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society as the director of education for the Ambassadors of the Environment international K-12 and teacher training programs, Keltner’s expertise has helped to build enthusiasm for Marymount’s outdoor leadership, environmental and physical education programs. With her vast experience, she is highly qualified to inspire students to connect nature with their personal, community and environmental well-being.

Marymount’s overarching theme last year was “Dive In,” where students participated in marine biology/surfing classes, Marymount’s ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) program where students build robotic vehicles capable of performing various tasks underwater, and participated in UCSB’s collaborative science learning labs with teacher Jannine Tuttle to conduct experiments with UCSB marine biologists.

This year’s theme at Marymount is “All Aboard.” Marymount students are frequently in the water playing water polo, swimming or applying numerous lessons from science class into projects such as the designing and building of cardboard boats capable of “carrying” at least one person. Marymount’s SCUBA program jibes nicely and is creating new opportunities for students to learn about their connections to our ocean planet.

Students are clearly taking Marymount’s themes and its messages to heart. In early June, Marymount Middle School students will go for their first dive off of the Channel Islands, exploring the underwater world of kelp forests, sea lions, nudibranchs and garibaldis. All the SCUBA elective students will complete and receive a diving certification.

Marymount is an independent coeducational school, junior kindergarten through eighth grade, on a picturesque 10-acre campus nestled on the Santa Barbara Riviera. Building on a 75-year tradition of excellence, the educators at Marymount have crafted a unique learning experience that blends mastery of core subjects with acquisition of the essential skills students need to navigate and be successful in a rapidly evolving world.

If you are interested in learning more about Summer Camps at Marymount, please call us at 805.569.1811.

— Molly Seguel is the admissions director for Marymount of Santa Barbara.