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Middle schoolers present projects on cleaning local waterways

Kent County Middle School seventh-graders display their capstone projects for the Watershed Watch program in collaboration with Sultana Education Foundation.
Kent County Middle School seventh-graders display their capstone projects for the Watershed Watch program in collaboration with Sultana Education Foundation.

CHESTERTOWN — Kent County Middle School's seventh-graders took their science projects out of the classroom and into the real world to help to clean local waterways this year.

With the guidance of science teachers Karen Carty and Katherine Hughes, the middle schoolers participated in the Watershed Watch program.

Watershed Watch is a partnership with Sultana Education Foundation. The program teaches students about the health of Radcliffe Creek through physical, biological and chemical factors and the effects humans have on them.

"Watershed Watch is a hands-on program in which students actively engage in their local waterway through field trips, data analysis and community engagement," Hughes said.

The program culminates with students designing and implementing action projects aimed at improving Radcliffe Creek's overall health.

"Every year the students impress me with their projects. This is a chance for them to take control of their own education, and it really shows their dedication to learning," Carty said. 

On June 1, the students presented their findings about Radcliffe Creek and their planned projects in the Kent County Middle School media center.

On hand for the presentation were Dr. Karen Couch, superintendent of Kent County Public Schools, and other administrators and staff and board members from Sultana Education Foundation.

On display in the media center was student art depicting Radcliffe Creek and a collection of decorated trash cans and recycling bins to help keep public spaces in the watershed clean.

Students discussed their findings and projects. They created posters and planned social media campaigns. They showed nets they designed that could be dragged behind kayaks or canoes to collect trash in the water.

The following day, students Diana Flores Contreras and Arianna Lewis took their presentation on the road for an interview at the Kent County High school radio station 90.5 WKHS.

Hughes said the radio station gave students an opportunity to reach a broad audience and to participate in real community outreach.

"Overall, I was very pleased and impressed with all the students' ideas and projects to help improve the health at Radcliffe Creek. I am very grateful for our partnership with Sultana Education Foundation that makes this program a possibility," Hughes said. 
 
 A pair of paintings highlight the dangers Radcliffe Creek faces in the future from pollution.
A pair of paintings highlight the dangers Radcliffe Creek faces in the future from pollution.
 
Kent County Middle School students decorated trash cans and recycling bins for public spaces in the Radcliffe Creek watershed.
Kent County Middle School students decorated trash cans and recycling bins for public spaces in the Radcliffe Creek watershed.
 
Seventh-grader Karmen Wiggins gives a presentation in the Kent County Middle School media center on the health of Radcliffe Creek.
Seventh-grader Karmen Wiggins gives a presentation in the Kent County Middle School media center on the health of Radcliffe Creek.
 
William Krastel, a Kent County Middle School student, talks about nutrient levels in Radcliffe Creek as part of a science project in the Watershed Watch program.
William Krastel, a Kent County Middle School student, talks about nutrient levels in Radcliffe Creek as part of a science project in the Watershed Watch program.
 
Arianna Lewis speaks about her social media campaign to inspire people not to litter.
Arianna Lewis speaks about her social media campaign to inspire people not to litter.
 
Kent County Middle School students Arianna Lewis, left, and Diana Flores Contreras go on 90.5 WKHS to talk about their Watershed Watch projects.
Kent County Middle School students Arianna Lewis, left, and Diana Flores Contreras go on 90.5 WKHS to talk about their Watershed Watch projects.

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