ROCHESTER — Superintendent Kyle Repucci and Principal Erin Mahoney are pleased to announce that Maple Street Magnet School fourth- and fifth-grade students are participating in a project designed to help clean up waterways.
Over the next week, 19 fourth grade and 13 fifth grade students will work in small teams to build 11 submarines designed to remove pollution from the water. The project is part of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension’s SeaPerch ROV 2021 project, which explores sustainable ways of cleaning up waterways in the community and beyond. Students began working on their submarines and researching global pollution on Tuesday, April 13. Students will test their devices on Tuesday, April 20.
This event was organized by first grade teacher Indra Edmonds, as well as fourth grade teacher Ginny Farkas and fifth grade teacher Dani Devoid. Additional staff will be helping out during the building process as well.
The goal is to continue this work in the fall by exploring aquatic wildlife in the outdoor classroom area at the Rochester River Walk and collaborating with other students at the school on additional sustainability projects.
“Simply put, the SeaPerch ROV project will help students dive deeper into learning how they are connected and impacted by their surroundings,” Principal Mahoney said. “We are taking education and looking at it through a lens of sustainability. Kids and adults are building a sense of community, creating a pathway to learn and understand how each one of us is impacted and connected to our environment and beyond. Thank you to Tara Hicks Johnson and Claes Thelemarck of UNH who are providing assistance and support for the project, and to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for donating the ROV kits for each of the students.”
Students have participated in projects like this in the past, including a Citizen Science and Safari Stream through the UNH Cooperative Extension. This was a collaborative effort between UNH Extension science experts, MSMS classroom teacher and UNH science volunteers. Students and teachers learned how to design and implement Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned science lessons, which were developed through and with locally relevant, community-based projects in mind. In the past, fifth graders explored the Cocheco River and learned about its ecosystem and species as well.
“These opportunities allow our students to learn real-life skills that they can use throughout their entire learning experience,” Superintendent Repucci said. “Thank you to our community partners and the team at Maple Street Magnet School for their help in putting this together.”