Sykesville students test the waters

November 01, 1996|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

History, commerce and the natural world came together for 17 students from Sykesville Middle School as they tested the waters of the Inner Harbor and hauled up critters aboard the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's workboat Snow Goose.

Before boarding Snow Goose near the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the high-spirited group of seventh-graders spun a decidedly negative groove when Capt. Dave Gelenter asked each to provide an adjective for the water.

"Dirty," said Brandon Bard, setting the tone for others, such as Craig Barkhimer, who followed with "nasty," and Shawn Fried, who replied, "Icky."

FOR THE RECORD - PLEASE READ MEMO.

The students were surprised later to learn the water wasn't as dirty as they thought. Three test samples rated excellent. Two rated poor.

Carl Cicone, a seventh-grade social studies teacher, tended the flock of 11- and 12-year-olds throughout the day, which included sessions on maps, factories and shipping, water and the watershed, crabbing and fishing.

The Snow Goose took the group to the Key and the Hanover Street bridges and into the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River during the day's explorations. The Snow Goose carries groups of students from fourth to 12th grade all summer and into the fall, said Janene Malamud, the first mate.

She and Gelenter are field educators who run the foundation's Baltimore Harbor Education Program. The captain pointed out the big ships, built for war or trade, and the Snow Goose put in behind the Domino Sugar plant so students could see -- and smell -- raw sugar cane being unloaded.

As the trip neared its conclusion, Gelenter and Malamud told the students to think back to their words for the water, then asked, "Who owns the Chesapeake Bay?"

"Us," came the reply.

"If it does get worse, who'll be responsible?"

"Us!"

"You have the power," the captain told them, a phrase they repeated as they disembarked and ran for the buses.

Pub Date: 11/01/96

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