Marc Montez and Gabriel Salinas, both eight-graders, stood beside their two-foot wide cardboard box that contained a snapshot of the rainforest — a biological system they researched as part of their science class at Moreno Middle School.
Christine Finch, science teacher at the school, said, “We were looking at trying to expand their knowledge of different communities outside of Texas.”
Those communities spanned the globe as students learned about the oceans, deserts, rainforests, grasslands, forests and tundras.
“We had them research the different biomes so that they were familiar with the animals, plants, temperatures and what lives where and why.”
“All the light is on the top and there is barely light on the bottom,” said Marc as he continued the explanation of the rainforest biome.
“The trees don’t let light get to the bottom,” said Gabriel.
The two boys talked with the enthusiasm as they looked over their project.
“The rainforest is really big and people haven’t seen all of it yet,” Marc said.
“There are probably more animals in there that they have not discovered,” Gabriel added.
These biomes are just half of the lesson.
In Sonia Cano’s science class, students were looking into both the natural and man-made impacts on these environments.
“A lot of them don’t realize that issues outside of the Beeville community have an impact on our lives,” Cano said referencing such things as the price of corn and the price of gasoline.
The projects of her students included everything from deforestation to pollution.
Selena Maca and Lyann Weyemberg showed how pollution, whether it is oil in the water or trash on the road, all has an impact on the environment.
Cano said that she hopes the students will take what they have learned and apply to it events such as the oil spill recently in Port Arthur.
The idea for the project was the brainchild of these two teachers who wanted to make science more fun for the students.
“We were going to take our preAP class and make a brochure,” Finch said. “But we wanted to reach out to all the students.”
So they came up with the biome boxes which meant that not only would the students have to do research, but they would also have to use their hands to craft that knowledge into a display.
“I thought this was a great way to do it,” Finch said.