by Lisa Tome
A pair of Conowingo Elementary teachers have secured a total of $3,000 in grant funding which will help students learn more about the local waterways.
Third grade teacher Traci Evans received $1,500 in grant funds for Conowingo Elementary from the Chesapeake Bay Trust for the Rain Garden Action Research program.
These funds will help students in grades kindergarten through five explore waterways near and far. Kindergarten students will explore the land and water features nearby. First graders will study land and water features in the community. Other grade levels will study various bodies of water.
As part of this project, students will also team up with community members to name the un-named tributary on school grounds. That tributary is about a third of a mile from the building.
Evans explained that the grant money will help expand on what students have already learned. One example is that students learned to test run off and the impact on the watersheds.
Evans said students are anxious to learn, She said that during a field trip to the tributary one student said "this is the best field trip ever."
"Another student asked for environmental text books for Christmas. They learn this here and then go home and share it with their parents and the community," said Evans.
Fifth grade teacher Christa McIntyre received $1,500 in grant funds from Chesapeake Bay Trust for the school for the Conowingo Marine Debris and Creek Sweep Action Research project.
This grant will pay for field trips to Conowingo Hydroelectric Power Plant where students will explore sediment issues and the fish lift. Students will also visit Deer Creek and Octoraro Creek. During these trips students will have hands on learning where they will "dissect" the creeks and assess the habitat.
The school and community will also partner to create a community clean up around the Octoraro Creek.
"We want all students to be stakeholders in the environment. Then their parents become stakeholders too," said McIntyre.
Tom Marinelli, principal at Conowingo Elementary School said that McIntyre and Evans went "above and beyond" to get this grant funding.
He said that the pair are school leaders in STEM learning teaching environmental science and stewardship.