Fifth-Grade Essay Contest winner Sam Schubert with
(left to right) Lewes Mayor Jim Ford, DNREC Secretary
Collin O'Mara, UD President Patrick Harker, and teacher
Marilyn Vallejo. The winning video contest group is
pictured below. Photos by Lisa Tossey
The winners of two Coast Day contests for Delaware school kids were honored during a ceremony at the University of Delaware event, held Sunday, Oct. 4, at UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.
Coast Day, sponsored by UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, highlights the state’s coastal resources. With that in mind, both contests asked students to reflect on the Coast Day 2009 theme, “Climate Change and Our Coast.”
Sam Schubert, a student in Marilyn Vallejo’s class at St. Ann School in Wilmington, took first prize in the Fifth-Grade Essay Contest for his essay “Facing Climate Change in Delaware.” In Coast Day’s new High School Video Contest, a group of students from Caesar Rodney High School in Camden, earned top prize for their submission, “Recycle Now!”
The Coast Day Fifth-Grade Essay Contest asked kids to choose one effect climate change may have on Delaware and ideas for helping limit that impact. Schubert wrote about the effects of sea-level rise and some steps people can take to mitigate it, including switching to energy-saving light bulbs.
“Changing to energy-saving light bulbs can help reduce the amount of electricity used in your home,” he wrote, adding that “by telling people about global warming and by telling them how to change to make thing better, we can make sure that future generations learn how to do things right.”
Taking second place was Hailey DeCelles, a student in Joan Balback’s class at East Millsboro Elementary. DeCelles’ essay “Save Our Ocean!” discussed the accumulation of too much carbon dioxide in the ocean. Third place went to Kellen Sweeney. Sweeney, also a student in Marilyn Vallejo’s class at St. Ann School, wrote about sea-level rise and proposed building an artificial reef off the coast.
Three honorable mention essayists also were recognized at the ceremony: Hayley McCabe, in Robin Hall’s class at East Millsboro Elementary; Jordyn Virden, in Jacquie Kisiel’s class at Rehoboth Elementary; and Brook Ward, in Robin Hall’s class at East Millsboro.
The winning students, who were selected based on the accuracy and originality of their essays, received bookstore gift certificates. The teachers of the winning students also received resource materials for use in their classrooms.
In the High School Video Contest, taking first prize were Zachary Dailey, Tyler Stokes, Zachary Johnson, Colin Kent, Alexia Ratajack, Ryan Norfleet, and John Bubniak, under the direction of teacher Paris Crockett. The group earned a Flip Video UltraHD camcorder for their school.
The competition’s prompt asked the students to share their thoughts on climate change and be creative — they could submit their videos as animations, photo slide shows, or live action as long as they kept it under two minutes.
The winning group’s submission featured the students on location at their school discussing the various ways climate change affects the natural environment as well as their own lives. The video points to recycling as one useful approach for dealing with the problem. You can view the video at Delaware Sea Grant’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/deseagrant.
Crockett, who annually asks his students to get involved with Coast Day in some way, praised the video contest idea. He said it allowed students with various strengths to work together for a great final product — one student had video experience while others had knowledge of the environment from their involvement with the school’s Earth club.
“We live in a technological world,” he said. “This really allowed them to get creative.”
At the ceremony, CEOE Dean and Delaware Sea Grant Director Nancy Targett, along with UD President Patrick Harker, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara, and Lewes Mayor Jim Ford congratulated the winners at the Coast Day kick-off ceremony and presented them with their awards.
For more information about Coast Day, visit www.decoastday.org or call 302-831-8083.
To learn more about the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, visit www.deseagrant.org. For more about CEOE, visit www.ceoe.udel.edu.
Fifth-Grade Essay Contest Winner
Facing Climate Change in Delaware
By Sam Schubert
Teacher: Marilyn Vallejo
St. Ann School
Over the last ten to twenty years, many people have argued over the effects of Global Warming on our planet. Scientists and world-wide leaders have different opinions on how to correct this problem. I will discuss how this problem started and what we can do locally to stop global warming.
Global warming is an average increase in the temperature near the Earth’s surface. Global warming can be caused by both natural and human reasons. Before 1900, things like volcano eruptions and the sun’s intensity would have been the primary cause for change in temperature. Human activities have most likely created the biggest changes in Global Warming in recent years. Earth’s surface has increased by about 1.2 to 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900. Use of coal, natural gas, oil and gasoline, factories, utilities and appliances has had the most effect. These activities increase carbon dioxide and methane in the air which create the increase in the Earth’s temperature. The effects of Global Warming have mainly made changes to the amount of the greenhouse gases, temperature changes, storm and weather changes and the changes in ocean currents.
Global Warming effects are already showing in Delaware. In Lewes, sea level has already risen by 12 inches in the last century. Some believe that it will rise 23 more inches by the year 2100. This would have a huge impact on the Delaware Bay wildlife. Deeper water will make it harder for ducks and geese to live in the area since they rely on shallow water to live. Shore erosion costs millions of dollars. Loss of the shoreline might mean people won’t go to the beach and then there will be less people visiting over the summer. This would greatly hurt Delaware’s economy.
There are some things that we can do to help. Change five lights to energy-saving light bulbs. Use green power and wind power. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Tell people and help them to understand what Global Warming does and how we can change it.
Changing to energy-saving light bulbs can help reduce the amount of electricity used in your home. If every house changed to just five of these, we could prevent greenhouse gases equal to 10 million cars. Using solar and wind power also reduces greenhouse gases by not using regular electricity. Recycling helps to reduce pollution, keeps companies from making more items and use energy and keep things from having to be thrown away in landfills. So by telling people about Global Warming and by telling them how to change to make thing better, we can make sure that future generations learn how to do things right.
Global Warming is having terrible effects on our world and our state. There are simple things that we can do to make changes so that our world can continue to be great. We all need to work together so that we can continue to have a world to live in.