Bud­ding sci­en­tist pre­pares to en­ter first grade

The Dundalk Eagle - - SCHOOL NEWS - By TEAM BCPS

This is part of an oc­ca­sional se­ries about what BCPS stu­dents and staff are do­ing this sum­mer — Sum­mer Sto­ries 2020. Want to sug­gest a story idea? Send it to com­mu­ni­ca­tions@bcps.org.


Ev­ery day of sum­mer is a day of dis­cov­ery for Ash­ton Diggs.

Ash­ton, a ris­ing Grade 1 stu­dent at Honeygo El­e­men­tary, at­tends God­dard sum­mer camp part-time but makes time ev­ery day to en­joy sci­ence, na­ture…dis­cov­er­ing new things, and some­times even writ­ing.

A chal­lenge to write a daily af­fir­ma­tion re­sulted in this poem by Ash­ton:

I am a unique tree, There is no tree just like


I Stand Firm, I stand tall, And I share my kind­ness around the world for all

One day you will soon see, You’re a spe­cial and unique


Just like me! The chal­lenge came from Ash­ton’s mother, Ash­ley McDon­ald, to write a daily af­fir­ma­tion to read aloud each day.

At Ash­ton’s house, Thurs­day is for go­ing to the pool, Fri­day – known as Fos­sil Fri­day – is for STEM (sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing, math­e­mat­ics) re­lated projects, and Sun­day is for watch­ing movies – often from the Juras­sic Park se­ries.

McDon­ald says she be­lieves the changes from the pan­demic have brought her fam­ily, which also in­cludes a two-year-old, closer to­gether. “There’s less hustle and bus­tle,” Ash­ton’s mom says.

McDon­ald, who says she has al­ways loved di­nosaurs and be­lieved in sci­ence, says that Ash­ton’s in­ter­est might have re­ally be­gun with get­ting a goldfish from a fair.

“Then we got more fish, and Ash­ton started learn­ing about al­gae.”

Be­yond fish, al­gae, and di­nosaurs, Ash­ton has been spend­ing time this sum­mer learn­ing more about rocks, gems, vol­ca­noes, and fos­sils, some­times by us­ing in­ex­pen­sive kits McDon­ald finds at area box stores.

“Ash­ton treats ev­ery ac­tiv­ity as an ex­per­i­ment – record­ing what was done and what hap­pened,” McDon­ald says. Re­cently the fam­ily has been gar­den­ing fruits and veg­eta­bles. Ash­ton was ex­cited about how many seeds sprouted in just 24 hours.

McDon­ald says that Ash­ton is aware of what’s go­ing on in the na­tion and world and often asks about why there is hate and why there is COVID. But mostly Ash­ton looks for­ward to re­turn­ing to Honeygo as a Grade 1 stu­dent af­ter at­tend­ing the school for PreKin­der­garten and Kinder­garten.

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