I am a retired public school teacher and I currently teach a science methods class to Kennesaw State University’s Elementary and Early Childhood Education students. For the past five years I have spent a total of 11 weeks on Wassaw Island, volunteering with the Caretta Research Project (CRP). I first learned about CRP from a friend, who recommended it as a professional development activity. I looked at the website ( and decided to participate. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on a project that really makes a long-term difference. Initially, I just wanted to volunteer my own time with CRP, but I am now focused on getting current and pre-service teachers to join me in volunteering for the program. As I have learned through my Caretta experience, there is no substitute for real-world, hands-on scientific research experience.