Students study ecosystem of Marley Creek


April 24, 1996|By Bonita Formwalt | Bonita Formwalt,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHEN SCIENCE teacher Mary Ann Buckley wanted her Marley Middle School students to explore the environment, she took them out the door and down the street to neighboring Marley Creek. There, her seventh-grade students studied a fragile ecosystem and its struggle to maintain a balance between nature and progress.

For the students it was a chance to observe as scientists a body of water they pass every day en route to school. Seining for insects and testing for chemicals, the students gathered samples of water from sites near the creek's headwaters. The samples will be used to evaluate the condition of the creek and to serve as a standard for future testing.

Using grants from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Maryland Student Service Alliance, Mrs. Buckley provided test kits and staff for the activities last week. A second trip is scheduled for May.

Closed to swimming since 1979, Marley Creek holds a particular interest to the students, several of whom live on the waterfront. Gina Ballard has lived in Country Club Estates her entire life. She knows firsthand the creek's problems.

"This is my back yard," she explained. "I hope we learn something that will help the creek, because it needs a lot of help. I'd like to see it clean, so we can fish and swim in it."

Classmate agrees.

"I want to find out what I can do, so it can be clean. Everybody can help," he said.

That's exactly what his teacher wanted to hear. Her goal, when she applied for the grants, was to educate her students to the creek's problems and make them aware of what must be done to improve it.

Watching her students crowd into groups, excitedly searching for signs of the creek's renewal, Mrs. Buckley reflected on their enthusiasm.

"This is the best way to teach," she said. "This is science."

Mexico on agenda

Marley Middle School will celebrate the culture of Mexico at a festival at 7: 30 p.m. Tuesday. The community is invited.

The culmination of the sixth grade's interdisciplinary unit on Latin America, the festival will feature traditional Mexican dancing, music and art.

Using a grant from the Baltimore Community Foundation and the Anne Arundel County Cultural Arts Foundation, the school was able to invite three artists-in-residence to work with the students the past several weeks.

helped the students with clay murals while the Barry Dove Percussion Trio added a Latin beat to the music department. Tony Tsendeas, an actor and teacher at the Baltimore School for the Arts, used his performances to enhance students' understanding of the social and cultural issues of Mexico.

For additional information, call the school office, 761-0934.

'Manhattan after Dark'

New York City comes to Glen Burnie when Arthur Slade Regional Catholic School presents "Manhattan after Dark" at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the school, 120 Dorsey Road.

The activities include dancing, comedy, karaoke, dining and a chance to test your luck, casino-style.

Tickets are available at the door for $9 on Friday and $10 for Saturday.

For additional information, call 766-7130, 551-5664 or 768-0586.

Spring fair

Richard Henry Lee Elementary School invites the community to a spring fair and craft show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday on the school grounds, 4th Avenue and A Street S.W.

Games, prizes and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

A limited number of spaces are available for craft workers to rent. Spaces are $7 or $10 with a table.

Profits from the fair will benefit the school's computer lab and cultural arts program.

For information call Janet Pogar, 768-9556.

Pub Date: 4/24/96

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