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Lewes, Delaware
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September 26, 1997     Cape Gazette
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September 26, 1997
 

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44 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, September 26 - October 2, 1997 SCHOOL & EDUCATION Sussex Tech students work to help Inland Bays mehti mm, t Otto Pictured (l-r) are graduate Jason Baumgartner, sen/or Emi- ly Gallagher and senior Maria Phillips. The three students helped plant and tend a buffer strip designed to reduce pollu- tion of Delaware's inland bays. UI ,, Del Tech kick off 30th anniversary celebration Oct. 3 free and open to the public, and begin at 7 p.m. in Room 529 of the William Carter Partnership Center (formerly the Higher Education Building) on Route 18 in George- town, unless otherwise noted. "Celebrating the Past/Forging the Future," Friday, Oct. 3. An evening dedicated to the past, pre- sent and future of the parallel pro- Continued on page 45 The University of Delaware and Delaware Technical & Communi- ty College are celebrating the 30th year of the Parallel Program, an outreach partnership that has helped thousands of Delawareans get educations. During the month of October, there will be a series of activities in Georgetown to honor this suc- cessful partnership. All events are By Michael Short Sussex Technical High School students hope the maple trees and grasses they planted in the middle of a driving snowstorm will help protect the inland bays. Students planted a buffer strip last winter along a tiny tributary near Fairmount with the help of students from Wesley College. Townsends Inc. donated a small strip of its soybean field, swap- ping soybeans for shrubs, in an effort to protect the environment. The idea, according to officials at a Sept. 19 press conference, is that the buffer helps protect the headwaters of the inland bays. Here's how they hope the system will work. The plants act as a sponge or a filter between fields and streams, holding nutrients in the soil and preventing them from running into the water. Stopping nutrients and soil from running off farm fields and into streams should help make the inland bays cleaner and clearer, they say. "Buffer strips are extremely important in reducing nutrients," said Bruce Richards, the executive director of the Cen- ter for the Inland Bays (CIB). The CIB provided a $5,000 grant to Terry Higgins of Wesley College and Pearl Burbage of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to conduct environmental education and plant buffers. "It's like a great big sponge to absorb whatever leaves the field," Higgins said. This buffer strip lies along Route 5 nar Indian Mission Church on a tributary so small that it tends to dry up in the heat of summer. It's a small buffer strip dotted with maples, dogwoods and knee-high grasses and no one expects miracles, but they say it's a start that is teaching students about the environment. Preliminary test results indicate that the amount of nitrogen and other nutrients entering the tribu- tary have been reduced. But those results arc preliminary and more long-term testing is needed. "[We need to] make certain the next generation can learn from the mistakes of the previous genera- tion," said Rep. John Schroeder (D-Lewes). "It's good for the animal habi- tat," said Sussex Tech student Maria Phillips. Dick Smith, farm manager of Townsends Inc., said the company was willing to lose part of its soy- bean field if it would help the environment. "It shows them we want to help," Smith said. "I feel like it is a learning experience for the inland bays and also for farm- ers." "We need more farm managers like this," Burbage said. Del Tech joins space grant consortium Delaware Technical & Commu- nity College is the latest institu- tion, and the first community col- lege, to become a member of the Delaware Space Grant College Consortium (DESGC), according to Norman Ness, president of the Bartol Research Institute at the University of Delaware. Samuel A. Guccione, chairper- son of electronics/computer engi- neering technologies and physics on the Del Tech Terry Campus, is serving as the official liaison to the consortium. He has been an active supporter of the DESGC's K-12 Outreach Program and the Rockets for Schools Program. Since 1989, the National Aero- nautic and Space Administration (NASA) has funded programs in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. DESGC was established in 1991 to administer the NASA Delaware Space Grant Program. Its goal is to enhance the future development of the nation in space science and technology, As the lead institution, the Bar- tol Research Institute receives an annual grant from NASA for pro- grams supporting space research, education, outreach, scholarships, fellowships and special programs. NASA support is matched by con- tributions from members and affil- iates. "We were pleased that Del Tech, which has an enrollment of 35,000 students on its four cam- puses, responded in a timely way to an invitation to join the Delaware Space Grant Consor- tium," Ness said. "This connection between Delaware educational institutions will be mutually bene- ficial as Sam has already been involved in our programs and has helped promote space science edu- cation." "I am looking forward to work- ing closely with the University of Delaware and other schools throughout the consortium. Mem- bership will provide research opportunities for our students and opportunities to promote space education throughout the schools in the state," Guccione said. Guccione has worked closely with Stephanie Wright, the UD alumna who is involved in the K- 12 Outreach Program, and the Sci- ence Alliance, which promotes science education in secondary schools. "Sam has been very helpful in holding workshops for teachers at Continued on page 45 Field trips can be an important aspect of your child's education We live in a perfect place for families. When a family goes to the beach, the kids get to play in the surf and parents can relax and read on the beach. The beach can be a family learn- ing experience. It is the perfect family field trip! It is both active and passive. Conditions are ripe for observation and discovery. It is a complete and fascinating class- room that any parent can share with children no matter what the season. At Cape Henlopen State Park, Herring Point overlook is a mag- nificent area to show off the local geography. Ships that take oil up the Delaware River can be seen in the distance. This is a terrific les- son on economics, because the ships deliver oil to the refineries in Pennsylvania. Other cargo boats SCH00L JOURNAL Diane Albanese pass through there daily. The observation towers that dot the shoreline in the state park pro- vide a lesson in history. This area had great importance during World War II and was heavily guarded. There are actual bunkers still visible as you drive through the park. Pick up a Cape Henlopen State Park brochure at the Nature Center to find out more specific historical information. Children enjoy running up to the top of the observation tower. Have them count the number of stairs and the time it took to get to the top. Teach them a math lesson by using these figures to calculate a ratio of stairs per minute. Estimate distance to the sea, discuss weath- er, and identify plants from the top of the tower. At the base of the tower, dark pine needles and white sand pro- vide a place for children to write their names in huge letters. This is nature's blackboard and an excel- lent place for an artistic, large motor activity. i In autumn, there is no lovelier place than the pine trail at the state park. Even if you are not a long- distance hiker, you will enjoy the well-marked trail through the woods. It is fun to walk it identify- ing animal tracks and habitats. You can use a compass for orien- tation, or have the children try to figure out the best path. If you have a short amount of time, take the family for a walk on the fishing pier. It stretches far out into the Delaware Bay. Fishermen are usually happy to showyou their catch of the day. There is no better view of the shoreline than from the end of the pier. During winter storms, the beach changes faces. Much of the sand shifts, eroding the beach and pro- viding a geology lesson. The wind and rain carve the beach up in many different and fascinating ways. Comb the beach after a storm to discover treasures of the deep. Children love to collect seashells and other things that wash up. Tidal pools are good places to dis- cover some small living creatures that are vital to the ecology of this area. Talk with them about how all living things are interdependent. This lesson transfers to everyday family living. Parents are the first teachers. Enrich and extend book learning with trips to natural areas. This precious time that you are together is well spent. Diane Saienni Albanese is a parent and educator in the Cape Henlopen School District and at Delaware Tech.