Seeds of science
I have always loved wildlife, but my fourth-grade teacher brought out my love for the ocean, specifically. Mrs. Jacqui Stanley made everything we learned ocean-related. We learned fish grammar, shark spelling, coral reef vocabulary and Texas history, all through the lens of the Gulf of Mexico. I started reading everything I could that had anything to do with the ocean. My daydreams get me into trouble during class as I drift along coral reefs imagining the day when I will be in the ocean as a certified scuba diver!
Every Friday at lunchtime, I can’t wait for SEEDS. During this time, it is not a good idea to be in the way of students carrying their lunches as they rush into the Treichel Building at Yorkshire Academy. These are the SEEDS group. SEEDS means Students Engaging the Environment through Discovery and Science, and we learn about our world, with an emphasis on marine life.
We SEEDS are extreme “oceanophytes.” We love to share our marine knowledge. We’ve been to Lone Star Community College, where we impressed the freshman biology class, and we gave a presentation to faculty at Rice University’s coral bioscience labs. As an elementary student, teaching college students is strange because you’re talking to people twice your age and size! At the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council meeting, we met the head of NOAA, who shared my love of oysters!
I appreciate how everything in the ocean is connected. Everything has a purpose, and knowing that has helped me think about how my life might affect other people and especially how I affect the environment. Currently, our SEEDS group is working on a TV commercial to encourage protection of the oceans and brainstorming design ideas for a sea turtle for the Galveston Island “Turtles About Town” sculpture series.
Every year, new SEEDS come and go. This year’s graduating fifth graders included 10 dedicated SEEDS. These students will be planted in new schools and will carry their knowledge with them. We hope to spark interest in our new schools and even create similar programs there.
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