Kent School col­lab­o­rates with Na­tional Aquar­ium

Kent County News - - SOCIAL SCENE -

CH­ESTER­TOWN — For 10 con­sec­u­tive years, Kent School has raised ter­rap­ins in the class­room in con­junc­tion with sev­eral en­vi­ron­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions as part of the Lower School Bay Stud­ies cur­ricu­lum.

The school’s most re­cent part­ner­ship with the Na­tional Aquar­ium in Bal­ti­more be­gan six years ago. Ac­cord­ing to their web­site, “The Na­tional Aquar­ium’s Ter­rap­ins in the Class­room Pro­gram brings Mary­land stu­dents face to face with the state rep­tile, the di­a­mond­back ter­rapin (Mala­clemys ter­rapin).”

This aca­demic year, Kent School is one of a hand­ful of schools asked to raise two ter­rap­ins each un­der dif­fer­ent con­di­tions. One ter­rapin will be raised in a tank with slightly higher wa­ter tem­per­a­ture. The re­sult­ing data will help sci­en­tists bet­ter un­der­stand the pos­si­ble ef­fects of global warm­ing on ter­rapin nest­ing habits.

Kent School’s fourth grade stu­dents are re­spon­si­ble for mea­sur­ing weight and growth of the two ter­rap­ins at timed in­ter­vals. Their data is recorded and shared with the Na­tional Aquar­ium’s Ter­rap­ins in the Class­room database.

In ad­di­tion to nam­ing the school ter­rap­ins, Squirt and Ch­e­sa­peake, fourth grade stu­dents are re­spon­si­ble for care and feed­ing of the ter­rap­ins through­out the year.

In the spring, the stu­dents will em­bark on a field trip to Po­plar Is­land where they will re­lease Squirt and Ch­e­sa­peake into na­tive marsh habi­tat. Tem­per­a­ture-de­pen­dent sex de­ter­mi­na­tion will be of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est when Squirt and Ch­e­sa­peake are re­leased.

Pam Deringer, Lower School Science teacher, will in­cor­po­rate ter­rapin study into her Bay Stud­ies cur­ricu­lum.

Deringer will lead fourth grade stu­dents in a hands-on, in­quiry based ex­plo­ration of Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Stud­ies. Her science cur­ricu­lum is co­or­di­nated with fourth grade so­cial stud­ies and his­tory where the fo­cus is on Mary­land His­tory start­ing with John Smith’s ex­plo­ration and map­ping of the Bay and its trib­u­taries.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Kent School or the Bay Stud­ies Pro­gram visit www.kentschool.org or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110.

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