Middle-schoolers learn about habitats

GUNTOWN – The world is multi-dimensional, and so is science.
“The idea was to have students see that science is not flat,” said Susan Steward, whose eighth-graders at Guntown Middle School recently completed 3-D, museum-like exhibits on biomes.
“They are habitats, which are environments where the plants and animals live,” explained Kirk Henry, who worked on a swamp project with other members of Steward’s third-period class.
In all, 120 students created biomes, which in addition to the swamp included a rain forest, a tidal pool, a coral reef, caves and an ocean.
For their coral reef, Tyler Scruggs and Rheem Harris created brain coral out of Styrofoam and pipe cleaners, and made oysters out of pingpong balls.
“We did the Elkhorn coral out of wood, coat hangers and stockings that Mrs. Steward got for us,” Rheem said.
Stewart supplied a few materials, but she stepped out of the classroom for the activity.
“They did everything on their own,” she said. “They elected a leader, and had people in charge of art, creativity, research, technology, evaluation and management. They’re also making a test from this, which they all think is great fun.”
Learning to work on their own was one aspect of the project, but so was learning to work as a team.
For the coral reef, “Nobody had the same idea,” Tyler said. “We argued about it and it still came out great.”

Contact Ginny Miller at (662) 678-1582 or ginny.miller@djournal.com.

Ginny Miller/Daily Journal