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Yesterday, Shelby, Nicole, Jessica, and I traveled to Sigsbee Elementary School, which is located on a Naval Air Base, and participated in judging the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade Science Fair. Along with us were other volunteers from the botanical gardens and the Navy. Each grade had a different topic they studied for instance; First grade had animal foot prints, Second grade had differences between their animal mascots (conch, dorados, sea turtles) and the human body, Third grade had simple machines. The first graders went on a nature walk and found real life foot prints in the wild. They studied and identified each print making a project out of it. The second graders had different class mascots such as the conch, dorado, and sea turtles. Based off each mascot they studied, according to their class they compared the differences between that organism and the human body. The third graders each made their very own simple machines made from supplies they had around the classroom.

All the volunteers were split up into selected groups three judged 1st grade, Shelby and I judged 2nd, and Nicole and Jessica judged 3rd. The first class Shelby and I went to was the Conchs. The kids and teacher were extremely welcoming and excited to have us hear all their projects. Each group did extremely well with their presentations. Coming to an elementary school I had very low expectations from these kids. When I attended elementary school we just learned the basics from every subject and were never asked to present a project let alone taught how to correctly present. These kids presented as if they were in middle school or high school, by making eye  contact with the audience, memorizing what was on their poster, but also knowing more about their project and sharing that as well, and ending their presentation by saying “thank you for your time”. I was shocked on how much these kids knew about presenting and marine science.Each student did an excellent job for how old they were.

I feel by pushing a certain disciplinary subject at each school is a great idea to jump start their kids future. It would let them decide a lot earlier on what they would like to study in college. Having Sigsbee’s main concentration be marine science teaches the students how important the marine environment really is to our society at an early age. By teaching kids this important information at such a young age, could benefit our marine environment for the future. Their generation could help better the environment and protect what is being lost from the damage humans have created. Because these students live in Key West protecting the marine environment is a huge factor here especially the coral reefs. Pushing marine science upon them gives them more of an understanding on why it is such a huge deal to protect and conserve are environment. With out the coral reefs in the Keys there would be nothing. The coral reefs are on of the many reasons for tourism, a source of food, and a place to live. Tourism is a big thing in Key West, people come from all over to scuba dive, snorkel, to go boating, and to enjoy other aquatic activities. But without the corals, what would they have to enjoy? It is the same with the residents’ source of food. Coral reefs are an ecosystem filled with biodiversity. This allows for the local fishermen to have a thriving business. A variety organisms survive off the coral reef for protection, food, and a shelter. Many people don’t realize that the coral reefs also help protect the island from hurricanes and tropical storms as a natural barrier. With out this barrier houses, hotels, and businesses would be destroyed.

People need to find more of an understanding of why are marine environment is so important and not take it for granted like we do everything else, and these kids could be that determining factor to make a difference.

What I learned from visiting Sigsbee Elementary School is that states and their different counties and cities should push more of the science discipline on their students to help them have more of an understanding of the world they live in and why the environment is so important.