Angelo Dragone, Bob Bender and Pine Bush High School’s own Michael Raucci and Faith Schutt gave Ms. Schutt’s marine biology class a hands-on lesson in scuba diving at the high school pool.
All four are certified scuba divers and giving the students an actual experience in the water with all the equipment needed is a valuable training tool.
In Ms. Schutt’s class, students are learning about oceanography, the different zones and how they impact weather. They are learning how scientists explore the ocean. Now, they are starting to get into the biology of the ocean and that’s where the scuba comes in.
Every marine biologist is a certified scuba diver. Mr. Dragone gave the students tips since most have never snorkeled before. Never hold your breath. Don’t let your hair get in the mask – it will cause leaks. The air tank weighs 40 pounds but once you’re in the water, it is weightless!
Ms. Schutt said she wanted to give the students the opportunity to experience this.
“It’s one thing to learn about my experiences diving,” she said. “This takes learning to a whole new level. I want to open this door and let them see what they can do.”
The students definitely enjoyed being in the water and learning about scuba diving. Mr. Dragone averages 250 dives each year. He’s been to Fiji, Mexico and many other exotic places. He has dived with sharks on many occasions and never had an issue.
He said to become a certified scuba diver, a person must be at least 10 years old, be able to tread water for 10 minutes, and have good swim skills in shallow and deep water. About 12 hours of pool work is required before going into the open water.