Ideal Elementary School and Dream Middle School hosted Shark Week Dec. 2 through Dec. 6 in correlation with the international celebration of this powerful creature of the ocean.
Spearheaded by Ideal second-grade teacher Betsy Whitthuhn, a schedule of events encouraged students to embrace shark culture and awareness. The culminating events was a schoolwide presentation from leading shark expert Dr. Steve Kessel.
Kessel spent Friday, Dec. 6 at Ideal and Dream educating students about sharks and the importance of marine conservation. He also performed a shark dissection for Dream Middle School teachers and students.
Leading up to Kessel’s visit and the shark dissection, students participated in a wonderful week of shark facts and fascination filled with shark-themed lessons, crafting sessions and Multiple Intelligence performances in each grade from kindergarten through grade eight.
The excitement surrounding the week’s events was felt daily as students and teachers took advantage of the opportunity to explore common misconceptions about sharks and analyze how and why the fear of sharks has been deeply instilled in society.
An Ideal school family graciously donated a shark tank containing sharks and shark egg sacks. The tank was installed in a third-grade classroom for all students to enjoy.
When it was time for the shark dissection, the Dream Middle School students were on the edge of their seats, bubbling over with questions for Kessel. The unique opportunity to feed their curiosities after a week of studying sharks was incomparable to video or text-based science instruction.
Keeping in line with Shark Week, Ideal and Dream students and families participated in the second “I Can Fun Run” event, where the theme was “A School of Fish.” Everyone wore blue from head to toe and carried school supplies to a drop-off station near Calypso Bay Water Park.
The supplies were collected and donated to needy children at an elementary school in the Glades.
Kessel participated in the run with Ideal Dream students, staff and families. The inspiration and joy proved evident throughout the entire week.
ABOVE: Dr. Steve Kessel shows off a shark for students.