At a recent Gifted & Talented Student Lunch Bunch gathering, Angad Dhingra, a Brill 5th grader, began sharing his concern for deep sea species, particularly an underwater spectacle called the Blobfish. He had done extensive research about the unusual fish and the dangers facing them and similar deep sea dwellers.
The intense desire to correct injustice is a common trait of gifted students. So the next question from me was, “What are you going to do about it?” A simple question fueled the group’s desire to act. The “Save the Seas Squad” sprung into action and spent the next several weeks brainstorming, planning, and executing. First they did some research about existing organizations that help with ocean preservation and settled on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Next, the students created a website to educate the public about the species affected by ocean depletion. They recruited a classmate who is particularly good at website creation to collaborate with them. Check out their amazing work at savetheseasquad.weebly.com. Their ELA teacher, Kristi Morris, had this to say about the hard working, self-motivated group, “They came up with this idea entirely on their own. My main role was to facilitate and support the group by meeting with them concerning their progress and giving them a few suggestions. I’m so proud of how proactive they were on making this idea to come life. 8They learned how to work together and involved their community to help the Blobfish.”
Last Saturday, the Save the Seas Squad hosted a lemonade stand and cookie sale in front of Brill Elementary. They had personalized paper bags ready for customers along with business cards to share their website. The ambitious group was made up of 5th graders Alex Chu, Angad Dhingra, Mia Chamberlain, Laylee Taghizadeh, Brooke Butler, and Cohen Goerlich. Their 2-hour sale netted just over $207! The money raised will go to WHOI.
But they are not finished yet! The Save the Seas Squad is currently looking for opportunities to do more and possibly explore business donations for their next sale. If you can help, please email their teacher Kristi Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we, as educators, give students an opportunity to problem-solve, give them a way to pursue their passions, give them a time to reflect, and give them the chance to expand on those ideas, there is no limit to where it can take them. Who is going to clap for elementary learners’ community service projects?!
~Written By Carie Barber