THANKS TO Patti Cannaday's fifth-grade class, the front lobby at Mount Airy Elementary School has become home to a thriving aquatic ecosystem -- better known to most of us as a water garden.
A permanent display, the 50-gallon water garden is representative of a balanced water habitat. Featuring living and nonliving things, the water garden, designed by the children, includes water plants, rocks, Japanese pond snails, tadpoles and goldfish.
The pupils worked together to design the water garden in conjunction with a science unit on populations and ecosystems.
Cannaday was awarded a $400 grant by the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation for the project.
After a month of research, the pupils began to design the water garden. They selected plants that would thrive in the amount of sunlight available, determined how far below the water surface to place them, and learned how to test the water to keep the garden healthy.
"The kids have made a connection," said Cannaday. "They are really motivated. Some have even started water gardens at home."
Classes are invited to visit the water garden. Cannaday's pupils act as tour guides.
Guides Brittani Stockman and Susan Beall gave Diane Hughes' third-grade class a tour.
"The animals depend on the plants for oxygen," said third-grader Lorrin Barton. "The snails depend on the plants for algae as food."
Ashley Fogle said after her class tour, "The plants depend on the sunlight and the water."
With the last day of school here, it's not too late to make summer plans for children.
Woodbine Recreation Council offers children ages 4 to 8 an opportunity to join its Summer Playground. The one-week program offers games, arts and crafts, and songs and stories.
The summer program runs from 9: 30 a.m. to noon July 20-24 at Mount Olive Education Building, Gillis Falls Road, Woodbine. The cost is $30, or $36 with a T-shirt.
Registration deadline is July 1. Information: 410-795-3332.
South Carroll High School has many exceptional teachers, and 11 of them were recently honored by the county for their outstanding teaching achievements.
Teachers recognized for their achievements are Michael Hoover, Chris Howard, Pat King, Charles Fazenbaker, Kathleen Brunnett, Lacye Shank, Jim Horn, Cindy Creekmore, Gary Foote, and Cindy Perouty-Byrne.
In addition to being recognized for his teaching achievements, Jeff Leister was one of eight county teachers to receive top honors.
Searching for a queen
Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company is looking for a Fire Prevention Queen.
Contestants must be between the ages of 16 and 21 as of Sept. 30 and must live within the Mount Airy first-due response area.
Applications, available at the firehouse, must be turned in no later than July 11. The contest will be held July 20 during the Firemen's Carnival.
Information: Debbie Gartrell at 301-829-0100 or 301-831-7454.
Pub Date: 6/05/98