Science Center to close for six months | April 11
Change in center's focus is ill-advised
The plans to change the Science Center of Pinellas County's focus from science education for the elementary grades to only that of middle and upper school student study seems to ignore national reports that show elementary school programs across the nation lagging in this area of study. Each year at the center, more than 30,000 students from public and private schools (K-5) are given direct, hands-on science classes ranging from animal and marine study to chemistry, astronomy, physics and much more.
Bay News 9 has even made the center a weather station for reporting and student weather study. These classes stimulate interest and educate younger children. Middle and upper schools have teams of science teachers while lower schools, in most cases, simply cannot provide such specialized teachers.
The physical changes that would have to occur within the center would be enormous and expensive. It has had years of renovations and improvements for elementary-geared study. To change it for middle and high school students would involve huge funding. The center is closing for six months, at least, for lack of funding. How much more would be needed to reopen it under new restructuring?
Perhaps more thought should be given to incorporating elementary, middle and high school science study with consultations by educational professionals before Pinellas County loses one of the best science institutions in America on its 50th year anniversary.
Jennifer Gardner, former director/teacher, Science Center of Pinellas County, South Pasadena
No maids on beach
I wonder if the people who use the beaches know there is no maid service. It's hard to believe that with so many trash containers around people are unable to clean up after themselves.
Don't they know the beaches are for everyone to enjoy? So the next time you go to enjoy a day at the beach, stash your trash. No maid service there.
Jody Anderly, North Redington Beach