The Annapolis Maritime Museum has completed the first phase of a new education initiative, "Chesapeake Champions," a year-long program launched in October with a $10,000 grant from Bank of America.
Through three six-week sessions, more than 100 students from Eastport Elementary School are connecting to the environment and culture of the Chesapeake Bay through activities that apply their school curricula in reading, math, and science.
Each week the students measure water temperature, salinity and clarity; they observe, measure and document the museum's terrapins and oysters; and account for funds they're raising to support the upkeep of the terrapins.
The first six weeks included a boat ride on the bay -- the first for a third of the children -- an in-depth exploration of oysters and terrapins, meeting a working waterman, and writing their own bay-inspired song with folklorist and songwriter Janie Meneely.
"My child has become more excited and interested in the bay and what it means to the area where he lives," wrote one Eastport Elementary School parent on an evaluation form.
The next six-week session starts in January.
`Casablanca' entry wins recycling prize
A Broadneck High School student's depiction of Sam from the movie Casablanca won the top prize at the sixth annual "Rethink Recycling" sculpture contest, co-sponsored by the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The sculpture contest, which marks "America Recycles Day" on Nov. 15, challenges students to innovatively and artistically use recycled materials as a solution to waste reduction. A total of 43 entries from 10 high schools contained everything from tires, milk jugs, chicken wire and playing cards to computer parts.
Contest judges included John Habercam, a retired art teacher from Chesapeake High School in Pasadena; Megan Viar, a former Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest winner and current student at the Maryland Institute College of Art; and Elizabeth Grimaldis, a retired art coordinator for Anne Arundel County schools.
A sculpture of "Play It Again, Sam" made of metal, bottles, cans, milk jug, cardboard, and a chair by Colby Nguyen of Broadneck won a $500 gift card to Best Buy.
Other local winners included Chris Barger, Shelby Lynn, Jennifer Johnson, and Melissa Meade of Glen Burnie High School for a girl made of a basketball and soda cans in the category of Best Use of Materials. Each received an iPod docking station.
Rockbridge Academy to hold open house
Rockbridge Academy, a K-12 classical and Christian school at 911 Generals Highway in Millersville, will hold an open house at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Prospective parents can learn more about the school and meet teachers, administrators and board members.
Information: 410-923-1171 or www.rockbridge.org.
Basic skills classes offered at AACC
Anne Arundel Community College has openings for the winter session of its adult basic skills classes at sites in Annapolis, Brooklyn Park, Edgewater, Glen Burnie and Hanover. The classes are offered at no charge.
Some adults may want to improve their reading skills so they can read to their grandchildren or help them with homework. Others may want to take the General Educational Development (GED) test but know they need help in one or more areas. Teens age 16 or older who are officially withdrawn from high school but need to boost skills to prepare to take the GED test are welcome.
Classes are free through a grant from Maryland Literacy Works and the U.S. Department of Education. The following sites have classes available at listed times; a phone number is included for sites with additional services:
AACC Arnold campus -- 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays/Thursdays
Brooklyn Park Middle School -- 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays/Thursdays
Center of Applied Technology South, Edgewater -- 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays/Thursday
Glen Burnie Family Support Center, Glen Burnie -- 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Mondays/Wednesdays or Tuesdays/Thursdays, with transportation available in a limited area and child care available for infants through age 13, 410-421-8560
Glen Burnie High School, Industrial Arts Building -- 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mondays/Wednesdays or Tuesdays/Thursdays
Glen Burnie Town Center, Arundel Center North -- 8-10:30 a.m. or 10:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Mondays/Thursdays or 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays/Thursdays
Opportunities Industrialization Center, Annapolis -- 9 a.m.-noon or 1-3 p.m. Mondays/Thursdays or 6-9 p.m. Mondays/Wednesdays
Sales and Service Training Center, Arundel Mills mall in Hanover -- day, evening and Saturday classes
Stanton Community Center, Annapolis, 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays/Thursdays.
To make an appointment for a skill assessment, call 410-799-9099.