CHARLESTON, MO (KFVS) - Hearnes Elementary "Science Club" spent their last meetings of the school year making an impact that could last 100 years.
Led by fifth grade teacher Charlotte McNeary, Science Club students planted pine trees from seeds while celebrating Earth Day. These seeds, if properly cared for, will grow to be tall evergreen trees capable of living a century or more. Each tree will be a home to wildlife, release oxygen into the air and add beauty to a landscape.
This project completes another successful year for Science Club, which boasted a membership of 224 eager young scientists in first through fifth grades. Experiments have included making homemade butter for Thanksgiving meals, "dancing raisins" in Sprite soda and creating glittery lava lamps.
In recent history, the club has sponsored visits by local scientist Jason Lindsey of "Hooked on Science," including an evening family event.
McNeary said Science Club would not be possible without the support of community volunteers and financial support from local businesses. Volunteers Marilyn Miller and Suellen Fenton have attended nearly every meeting this school year to help with hands-on activities, and generous donations by Diebold Orchards of Benton and L&S Pharmacy of Charleston go toward supplies like pumpkins and pine tree kits.
Also a big help are McNeary's fifth grade "student teachers," who sign up to help with the younger students. The following students helped this year: Sara Campbell, Brooklyn Riggens, Marquelle Williams, Jaidyn Hunsperger, La'Myia Williams, Carla Garcia, Alesia Ware, Takia Scott, Ricky Murphy, Fontayviah Murray, Seth Boyer, Ryleigh Dowdy, Jashiya Lee, Kaelynn Taber, Quinesha Wiggins, Hunter Powell, Alex Munoz, Thomazjia Bryant, Rebekah Henry and Tameyah Williams.
Science Club helps make science and learning fun, and will no doubt have a lasting effect on the students involved. While planting pine seeds, McNeary and her students discussed the fact that in the future, they might be taking their children and grandchildren to visit the tree they planted in elementary school.