Mr. Saltwater Tank

Mr. Saltwater Tank Profiles Bellevue High School’s Marine Lab

Football, soccer, English class. All typical activities for American High Schools. As a reef junkie I say forget all that and join Mr. Bower’s Marine Lab

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Comments for this article (19)

  • William says:

    Great episode Mark! Thanks for doing what you do.

  • David says:

    What a brilliant, forward-thinking teacher to use such a medium as reef-keeping to teach students science. I really hope some philanthropist gets to know about this and bank-rolls it for an extended period to give the financial security this project needs to continue it’s great work.

  • Matt says:

    Mark well done on revealing an inspiring educator. How would one make a donation to their classroom!!!

  • Manny De Lira says:

    You know Mark, if you were to open up a donation fund for that class, I would be willing to donate. . .

  • Bill Bush says:

    Excellent feature glad to see that somebody is actually
    putting to use the idea of real world study with learning
    I believe if there were more hands on class rooms like
    this instead of the testing preparedness they are teaching
    now students would be more likely to excel in the class
    room and in life in general

  • Bob says:

    Thanks Mark for letting us know about this teacher and his program. A teacher with that sort of initiative needs to be supported. I would be willing to donate to his program. Please let us know how to make donations. Also, if a supplier would be willing to donate a portion of their proceeds to such a program, I would be more inclined to do business with that vendor. Since it is in Ohio, perhaps Pet Solutions should be approached by their customers. I’ll send your link to their customer service department.

  • Lori Grubbs says:

    Love this teacher! Wish that we lived closer so my 3rd -5th grade classes could continue in reef-keeping and thinking ways of life. My grant money has run out, so I don’t know how I will continue to keep the 200 gallons I have currently in my classroom going next year. (especially since my 120g display has a leak in the front seam currently being held together with wood and clamps!) Please email me if you have any ideas or links. I’d appreciate any and all help you have to offer!

  • Reef says:

    I wish I had that course when I was in school!! That would have changed my whole outlook on my chosen path of professionalism..

  • Carmen Stafford says:

    This was an outstanding episode. I wish so much I could have had that teacher when I was in high school! I think it would have been life changing for me, as it must be for many of his students. A great teacher, and thanks for bringing him to us, Mark.

  • Bob says:

    All you reefers that liked this episode should get off your reefing butts and do something to help the guy out. The reefing community needs to support each other and this is a perfect way to do so. I’ve already contacted one vendor who I use frequently to bring this program to their attention. It seems if all others would do the same with their vendors, we might could provide this teacher with the resources needed to really make a difference.

  • Alessandro says:

    Hey Mark, great video. If you’re ever interested in profiling other Highschools with marine labs I would love it if you could come down to Miami and check out my school’s Coral Lab. We currently have two 180-gallon frag tanks running, as well as a large 70 gallon Lion Fish tank. It’s all student run (right now it’s about 2 seniors and 4 of us juniors) under the supervision of our science teacher who happens to have a degree in Marine Biology. Feel free to email me if you would ever like to check it out.

  • alain leon says:

    I would be very willing to donate some $$$ to this. Stuff like this is what should be going on everywhere, real education! Not shoving FCAT test taking techniques down kids throats.

  • Ryan says:

    This is really cool. I am impressed with the way this school has allowed the teacher to bring something so interactive into the classroom. Hands on learning is the best. Too much emphasis is put on reading and memorizing a book with theories instead of looking at the practical applications and how it works in the real world. I give this teacher major kudos and would be willing to donate money to this program (even though I live in Cali). Thank you Mark for sharing this and let me know how we can donate as it looks like there are a few us willing to donate.

  • Dan Gappa says:

    I think this is the same guy who was oftentimes on the Reef Central thread for Nineball. (Peter in Toronto). He asked lots of good questions and received lots of good advice. Thank you Mark for this episode, and we thank you Mr. Wilson (inside info) for all his help.

  • David Bowers says:

    Dan, you are right that I am that same guy that occasionally posts on Peter’s amazing thread on reef central.

    I wanted to say thank you to all for the wonderful kind comments. My students and I greatly appreciate them. Thank you very much also to Mark for making me look so good 🙂 (believe me that is no easy task) and to Dr. Toby of Buckeye Medical in Bellevue who introduced me to Mark and has supported our program

    Regarding donations. First allow me to say how overwhelmed I am that so many of you have expressed an interest in supporting what my students are up to. For monetary donations, checks can be made out to Bellevue City Schools memo Marine Science Club to 200 Oakland Ave Bellevue, Ohio 44811 Attn. David Bowers

    if you are interested in an equipment or livestock donation please e-mail me directly at to work out the details

  • Thomas Garcia says:

    Hi Mark. I have been a fish hobbyis just about all my life. I would of love to have had that class in high school.I have been into reef keeping for jusy about a year now and I love it. I know as you do it take alot of $$$ to keep a reef tank going from what I seen of the class he got one gig reef tank going. I did not see a frag tank wich would be a good way rais monny.
    What are the LFS doing for this class are thay helping as all would be a nice thing to do.

  • Mason Porta says:

    I cant donate much but how does one give money to this cause? I may have stayed in school if I had a teacher like this.

  • David Bowers says:

    Thomas, you are right that we could make a $ use of the frag tank. Most of the time we are measuring growth rates v. temperature or lighting changes. It is possible to make a few cuttings and try to take those to swaps, we are too far from most cities to bring collectors to us.

    Mason, check out my post a few back which has my mailing address and contact information.

    Thank you both (and everyone here) for your interest, kind words, and support

  • Santa Monica Filtration says:

    Wow if we would have had this class available in high school instead of auto mechanics, I never would have learned how to fix cars.

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