Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Family festival marks Earth Day at Challenger K-8

SPRING HILL

Olivia Atiles, a 12-year-old sixth-grader at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics, is very interested in protozoa.

"It's interesting to see the different ones," she said. "It's like another world inside a drop of water."

Olivia assisted sixth-grade science teacher Colleen Doulk during the school's recent MES Fest, an Earth Day celebration coordinated by eighth-grade science teacher and math department head Kelly Maharaj. It was an evening event for parents and students that included a spaghetti dinner and lots of science-themed activities.

Doulk had microscopes set up so students and their parents could stop by and see any of several one-celled creatures.

The day before the MES Fest, which stands for Math, Earth and Science, there was an Earth Day Expo, which came the day after the Rainforest walkathon. The school always celebrates Earth Day in a big way.

The walkathon was a way to collect pennies to preserve rainforests. Each penny saves a square yard, said fifth-grade science teacher and walkathon coordinator D.D. Brooks.

The expo was an opportunity for local businesses to demonstrate their concern for the environment and for grade levels to demonstrate ways to protect the planet. So caught up in the cause was third-grader Emily Meuser, 9, that, on her own initiative, she rounded up 100 people to sign a pledge to make a difference to save the Earth by reducing, reusing and recycling.

"I think it's important to help Earth," she said. "If we destroy Earth, then where will we live?"

Besides hunting for planarians under microscopes during the MES Fest, children could crawl among multiple cotton puffs and gather them together to make clouds. They also had the opportunity to meet Bay News 9 meteorologist Diane Kacmarik.

Students made tornadoes out of plastic bottles, and hovercraft using CDs, squeeze-bottle caps and balloons. They sailed wind cars down a corridor using giant fans for power.

Angela Barker, Ti Rahman and their twins, Adam and Kadin, attended the event.

"They like to make things and try things out and see how they work," Barker said of the 9-year-old fourth-graders.

Adam said he likes engineering. For an Earth Day classroom project, he made a boat with a steam engine made out of a Coke can, a milk carton, straws and a tea light. It actually worked.

"He tested it in the pool," his mother said.

Kadin made a hovercraft for his project, similar to the ones being made by visitors that night.

"We're a math and science school," Maharaj said, and the MES Fest was a way "to be creative to keep science going and to get our families involved and (for students) to get ideas for next year's science fair."

Family festival marks Earth Day at Challenger K-8 05/22/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 22, 2014 11:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 24: A pilgrim reaches the Cruz de Ferro, an important milestone on the journey to Santiago

    Travel

    Day 24: Foncebadon to Molinaseca: 20.3 km, 6 hours. Total for Days 1-24 = 561 km (349 miles)

  2. Sprint is reportedly seeking a merger with Charter, the nation's second-biggest cable company

    Business

    Sprint, the nation's fourth-largest wireless network, is pursuing a merger with the cable company Charter Communications, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

  3. Steve Cishek latest bullpen upgrade for Rays, who now must translate that to wins

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The Rays made another addition to change the look of their bullpen Friday in acquiring veteran side-armer and former closer Steve Cishek from Seattle.

    Reliever Steve Cishek has a 3.15 ERA in 20 games after recovering from offseason hip surgery and a 1.86 ERA since a rocky second outing of the season.
  4. Ex-priest in Boston sex abuse scandal released from prison

    Nation

    BOSTON — A convicted pedophile priest at the center of Boston's Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal settled into an apartment in western Massachusetts on Friday, across the street from a children's dance studio.

    Paul Shanley, 86, has completed a 12-year sentence for the rape of a boy in the 1980s.
  5. Russia seizes 2 U.S. properties and orders embassy to cut staff

    World

    MOSCOW — Russia took its first steps Friday to retaliate against proposed U.S. sanctions for Moscow's suspected meddling in the 2016 election, seizing two U.S. diplomatic properties and ordering the U.S. Embassy to reduce staff by September.