A “WHALE” OF A TIME AT McILVAINE ECC
---CR High School Students Create 100 Foot Finback Whale---
(Camden, DE.) More than 30 Caesar Rodney High School (CRHS) juniors and seniors have provided the ultimate marine biology learning experience for nearly 500 kindergarten students at the J. Ralph McIlvaine Early Childhood Center (MECC). Using nothing more than plastic sheeting, packing tape and one household fan, the CRHS students have created a 70 foot Finback whale which now lies “beached” in the MECC cafeteria.
“We have been teaching our students about marine life in our ocean unit of study,” said school Library Media Specialist Ruth Fuchs. “So, we contacted the Marine Biology class at CRHS and asked if they could not only build an inflatable whale but also provide instruction to the children about earth’s largest mammals.” Added Fuchs, “The high school students were truly excited and jumped on board to participate in this activity.”
“Yesterday, our entire class spent nearly seven hours designing, cutting and taping together our Finback whale,” said Marine Biology teacher Erin Cunningham. “The body of the whale was built outside McIlvaine while the fins were constructed in the cafeteria. The parts were then assembled using a lot of packing tape and inflated using an ordinary house fan. Added Cunningham, “Our whale stretches 70 feet which is slightly less than three school buses.”
“This has truly been an integrated ocean experience for our students,” said MECC principal Sherry Kijowski. Over the past few weeks, the children have taken field trips to the beach, have written about aquatic animals and learned about seahorses, crabs, fish, sharks and whales. For each child to then walk into the cafeteria today and see a 70 foot-long whale puts the entire learning experience into perspective for them.”
The whale will be carefully disassembled, folded, boxed and stored and will be “beached” once again in the McIlvaine cafeteria next year.