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Students to Give Condor Presentation at Andrew Molera State Park; Creates 'Micro-Trash' Mural
On Saturday, March 2, fifth grade students from Mount Madonna School (MMS) will give a public presentation about their class environmental project, “Do One Thing to Help the Condors and the Environment.” The presentation starts at 3:00pm and will be held at the Discovery Center at Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur.
In addition to sharing their condor research and answering questions, fifth graders will host the first public screening of “Help the Condors Fly, Not Die: Battle Against the Threats,” an educational DVD written, acted, directed, filmed, edited and produced by the students themselves.
Project mentors and fifth grade teachers Jessica Cambell and Nate Rockhold say proceeds from the DVD sales will be invested with Kiva.org, an organization making micro-loans to developing countries around the world. Once the loans are repaid, the money will then be donated to several different organizations working on condor conservation.
At one time, more than 500 wild California Condors soared over the southwestern United States. By 1982, however, their population had plummeted to fewer than 22 known birds. A few years later, in an effort to save this condor from extinction, biologists captured all of the remaining wild condors and began breeding them in captivity. Until 1997, wild condors were deemed extinct, but by the early 2000s, the captive breeding effort was successful enough that scientists working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began releasing some of the birds into the wild. Today there are about 400 condors in California, Arizona and Mexico, with about half of these living in the wild.
“We are inviting everyone to come to the presentation, because it will be fun, educational and exciting,” comments fifth grader Jordan Hopkins. “At the park we will be rangers for the day and be able participate in a condor tracking activity.”
“Besides the DVD, we will also display our research reports and poster boards, activity pages, and our science experiment demonstrating the effects of thinned eggshells on condors,” adds classmate Tabby Hardin-Zollo. “People will also be able to see the ‘condor wings’ that we made with our preschool-kindergarten little buddies.”
The students constructed a full-size pair of condor wings (9 ½ foot wingspan!) and inscribed individual ‘feathers’ with suggestions of everyday steps people can take to help the environment and condors.
“You can try on the wings and feel like a condor flying!” says fifth grader Vicente Brevis.
Another major component of this project is currently underway at MMS: the students are creating a large mural to be installed at the Andrew Molera Discovery Center later this year. The mural depicts a flying condor and will be created entirely out of micro-trash.
“We hope our mural demonstrates to people how serious a threat pollution and trash are to the condors’ existence,” notes fifth grader Quinn Cury.
Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Media & Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.