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Joyce Endee

Moultonboro students celebrate Earth Day with kites, bikes and more

April 28, 2010
MOULTONBORO — Kite making, herb planting, biking, and nature art were among the many ways students at Moultonboro Academy could learn about nature in celebration of Earth Day.

Students took part in a wide variety of activities all day Friday in celebration of Earth Day and in preparation for the coming April Vacation.

"(We want) to help kids appreciate their outdoor surroundings, get in touch with nature," said event co-organizer Shannon Quinn. "We really just look to take the whole day and to celebrate Earth Day and the importance of respecting and appreciating the environment."

Quinn said this is the third year Earth Day activities have been back at Moultonboro Academy after a period of absence.

The day had several activities divided into four different blocks. Students chose what activities they wanted to do during the day and each activity was lead by a teacher or other staff member.

"We had a good crowd of students involved in the past," said Principal Andrew Coppinger. "We've gotten very good attendance even compared to past years. I think that's because the students were part of the planning."

In previous years students picked their top three choices of activities. This year students planned the activities, with more freedom to choose what they wanted to do.

"We wanted to see if more kids would show up if they picked what they wanted to do," said junior Patrick Conner, one of 19 student leaders who helped plan activities.

Guidance counselor Jen Chapman led a session on nature art, where students went outside and created artworks with stones, flowers, leaves, and any other natural item they could use. Chapman said the project was inspired by the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy, who makes similar nature art.

"It's just helping them look at things in our natural world in an artistic (way) and maybe create something beautiful people can see as they pass by," Chapman said. "I just want them to appreciate the natural world.

Coppinger helped lead a group of students on a bike ride around the area.

"Part of it I think is just appreciation for the environment, get out and enjoy it," Coppinger said.

Physics teacher Vickie Johnson showed students how to make kites that were flown outside. Johnson said the kite making session did use principles of physics as part of the activity.

"Getting things flying is challenging, gives you a sense of the wind," Johnson said. Johnson said she has done windmill projects in the past, but decided to try something different this year.

Seniors Jenn Vappi and Christina King collaborated on a kite project.

"You have to make sure you measure it the right way," King said.

Vappi said she made a kite as a child, but had not made one since.

Family and Consumer Science teacher Patty Payne worked with students to plant herbs. The potted herbs will be kept outside for the students to water and later pick for use in cooking, such as sauces.

The day capped of with a music festival including bands from the schools and the area.

At Moultonboro Central School, students took part in a series of field experiences in the community. Students signed up for activities such as hikes at the Castle in the Clouds, the Oak Ridge Trail, Mount Catherine in Wonalancet, Eagle Cliff in Sandwich, and other locations.

Principal Scott Laliberte said the day before vacation can be difficult for the students,

though teachers have put much effort into developing the projects for the students to do.

"The teachers have put a lot of effort into developing lessons that (go) into the things they see," Laliberte said.

Laliberte said the Earth Day activities were of special importance to now-retired Principal Michele Miller, he wants to continue her tradition.

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