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Are You Smarter Than a 6th Grader?


Are you smarter than a 6th grader?  Maybe not one from Sanibel!

According to our friends at the Santiva Chronicle:

Marine biologists at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum recently wrapped up their annual five-week Shell Studies program for The Sanibel School’s 6th grade students.

The program is designed to introduce students to mollusks, the animals that create shells, and their importance to the ecosystem.  One lesson showcased mollusks’ unique adaptations such as ink, slime, camouflage, tentacles, and jet propulsion.  During another lesson, marine biologists took a deep dive into several local gastropod and bivalve species, teaching students fun facts about the creatures they might find on Sanibel’s beaches.  Students then chose three different mollusks to research and presented their findings to the class.

The Shell Studies program culminated with a field trip to the museum.  Students biked over from the Sanibel School and explored the Great Hall of Shells and the marine life in the Beyond Shells Living Gallery.

The students accompanied museum marine biologists at the “Shell Shack” during the 85th annual Shell Festival at the Sanibel Community House.  Students shared their new-found knowledge about local mollusks with festival visitors and answered questions about mollusks on display in the tanks including Horse Conchs, Florida Fighting Conchs, Lettered Olives, Crown Conchs, Banded Tulips, Lightning Whelks, and Ponderous Arks.

The Shell Studies program has been going on for as long as we can remember.  Those of us who have raised our kids on Sanibel think back on it fondly.  Just one more reason why growing up on the island is so very cool!

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