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Young earthlings learn all about green living

Aaron King, vice president of Solar Kings, tells seven second-grade classes how solar panels work at an Earth Day celebration at Challenger K-8.

EDWARD LINSMIER | Times

Aaron King, vice president of Solar Kings, tells seven second-grade classes how solar panels work at an Earth Day celebration at Challenger K-8.

SPRING HILL — For Earth Day 2010, second-graders and teachers at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics wanted to take to heart a favorite quote from Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

So, with teacher D.D. Brooks serving as coordinator, the class planned activities and invited guests to explain just what it means to "go green."

"It's Earth Day's 40th anniversary," Brooks said, "and we wanted to celebrate."

Second-grade teachers Terri Bell, Stacey Buttelman, Laura Holmes, Megan Liberty, Denise Long and Tammy Quinn supported Brooks during the week of activities that culminated with Earth Day.

Most of the visitors were set up in the center of a Challenger K-8 area known as "the mall." The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission/Chinsegut Nature Center had two activities. One was a chance to make animal track rubbings. In the other, using plastic pizza toppings like bugs, spiders and centipedes, students created "pizzas" that raccoons, coyotes, deer and hogs might like to eat.

Nearby, the Southwest Florida Water Management District was giving away information about how to save water and how to make a rain barrel.

Todd Guenther of Accuform Signs showed photos of his company's recycled-tire table, its paper and pulp recycling, and a plastic water bottle made from corn instead of petroleum.

Girl Scout Ruth Ann Sharp had a display of building material examples and the natural materials used to make them. Students stopping by were invited to match them, such as a piece of bamboo and a piece of flooring.

"It's a Girl Scout law that we use our resources wisely," Sharp said.

Sweetbay Supermarket had a display of Earth-friendly products, and Weeki Wachee Springs State Park had examples of wildlife, including replicas of alligator, manatee and eagle skulls; bobcat, gray fox and fox squirrel skins; and a live corn snake.

Schenkelshultz Architecture, which designed the new Weeki Wachee High School, had pictures and samples of what will make the school green.

Outdoors, Autoway Ford of Brooksville lent the school a hybrid Escape. Solar Fusion and Solar Kings, companies that produce and install solar panels, brought a panel and had representatives explain how it works.

Kohl's Department Store sent volunteers to help with a "rain forest" walkathon. Collected coins will help World Land Trust-U.S., Nature & Culture International and ProAves Colombia purchase Colombian rain forest land.

Carrabba's provided lunch to visitors.

Young earthlings learn all about green living 04/28/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:24pm]
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