NEOSHO, MISSOURI -
Teachers try to inspire students to believe htey can change the world.
Now a project at Neosho middle school has eighth grade students working to save endangered species.
"It’s eaten by its main predator, the tiger shark." A video plays on Connor Jordon’s computer. He and his ecology team are trying to save the hawks bill sea turtle. Connor explained the impact of the assignment. “Most projects we do in class are boring, normal stuff. But this one was fun. We got to work with teammates and it’s connected to the real world."
Salma Sanchez agreed, "I felt like I was making a difference the whole time because I’ve never really done something that connects to the real world. So, it was really fun to do that.”
Forty six teams of eighth grades students created video's advocating for their endangered species. For Talon Mitchell it was the peregrine falcon.
"I learned teamwork and I learned how to make a video and put up a website for it. And I learned how to value my time cause there’s a lot of work we had to do for it," said Mitchell.
Teams were selected in Mr. Wellesley’s science class to teach ecology but it’s a cross curricular project meaning it involved English, Math and Social Studies as well.
Mitchell’s video about the peregrine falcon being endangered in Missouri played a segment showing the integration of math, "Declining at a rate of approximately three hundred birds per year "
Species population estimates written in scientific notation were also part of math class.
Becca Englund, who's working to save the Borneo pigmy elephant which she exclaimed, “Isn't it cute!"
And she said the tie to English was perfect. Englund said, "We were trying to use ethos, pathos, and logos which is pulling at your heartstrings using logic and numbers to really appeal to people to persuade them to come to your side. It was a great way to show us to do that with a bigger project like this."
Jakobe Harris explained with his video, "This is our script, images on the side and the time estimated it would take to say this."
They included information such as how humans can help.
Englund said ideas such as, “reducing pesticides and not so many poachers.”
Eighth grade science teacher Derrick Wellesley said students have more enthusiasm for class now. "They're bought in, with projects, things like that and they're learning. It’ much better than textbook, lecture and assignments."
Talon Mitchell rates the project a ten out of ten. "It’ not just doing work that you're probably gonna forget the next week. I’m probably gonna remember this project for a while."
And they're sharing an important message.
Mitchell’s video plays, “They need your help from going extinct."
Wellesley said forty-four videos were posted and each video links to a charity helping the endangered species.
So far videos have raised more than five hundred dollars with one garnering more than three hundred alone after being shared on social media.
You can still watch the videos and donate through April 30th by clicking on this link.