CHESTERTOWN — Seventh grade students at Kent School have completed their capstone projects for the Watershed Watch Initiative.
They joined students from Radcliffe Creek School and Kent County Middle School to work with Sultana Education Foundation to investigate the health of Radcliffe Creek.
Kent School’s seventh grade science teacher Hannah Richardson worked with science teachers at RCS and KCMS along with Sultana’s Chris Cerino and Beth Lenker to create a ten-module curriculum that included four field learning experiences and six in-class lessons.
Over the course of the Watershed Watch Initiative, students assessed water quality by testing biological indicators such as calculating macro-invertebrate populations and conducting water tests for nitrogen, pH and turbidity.
The culminating actions challenged students to create a project that raises community awareness and supports ecological health of Radcliffe Creek. Kent School students chose four different project areas.
Two groups elected to work on initiatives to reduce plastic bag and plastic straw use by local businesses, respectively. They each wrote persuasive letters to area business letters and presented them in person. Another group chose to build wood duck houses and is lobbying the town council for permission to install them in Gateway Park along Radcliffe Creek.
The fourth group of Kent School students is expanding the Pamela E. Deringer Rain Garden located on Kent School’s campus by planting additional native plants. The students presented their projects on May 28 at the Sultana Education Foundation's Holt Center.
“I am incredibly proud of the hard work they have already completed and am looking forward to their presentations later this month," Richardson said. "As a teacher it is so gratifying to see the hard work by these students make a real difference in the community and improve the health of a local waterway,"
Chesapeake Bay Studies as an integrated part of Kent School’s science curriculum from preschool through eighth grade.
“We are so fortunate that our school is situated on the bank of the Chester River," said Head of School Nancy Mugele. "Our location combined with the relationships that we have cultivated with organizations like the Sultana Education Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Center for Environment and Society at Washington College provide our students with unique opportunities to learn from, and about, our immediate environment.”
“Projects like the Watershed Watch Initiative are so meaningful to our students because they are putting their learning to work on behalf of their community," Mugele said. "I am proud to see them become advocates for our environment and hopeful they will take these lessons into adulthood and become lifelong stewards of our waterways."