RAHWAY, NJ - Fifth grade students from Valley Road School and Hehnly School in Clark attended the Union County Gifted and Talented Association Convocation on January 11. The convocation titled, Kids Saving Earth Today for a Better Earth Tomorrow took place at the Rahway Recreation Center.

The goal of the program was to promote environmental awareness in the surrounding community by setting good examples and providing activities that demonstrate environmentally friendly ideals.

Cindy Tarello, Clark’s Gifted and Talented teacher directed the convocation.  She shared her view of what the day was meant to achieve. “The workshops are designed to foster cooperation among students from the participating districts while gaining a better understanding of important environmental issues. It’s an excellent opportunity for the students to interact with one another in a challenging atmosphere,” said Tarello.

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Students from Clark, Berkeley Heights, Elizabeth, Kenilworth and Roselle rotated through four different modules: The Earth Dome, Clean It Up, Landfill, and Hydrophobic Sand.  

The Earth Dome is a gigantic inflatable earth balloon made of photographs shot from satellites of the surface of the world. The Dome was brought in by Mobile Ed Productions and was used to educate students about geography as well as other environmental issues. 

 In the Clean It Up workshop, students learned how a community negatively and positively impacts its environment by using given materials to clean polluted water.  In the Landfill station, students built model landfills using materials similar to those used by engineers. The goal was to create landfills that hold the most garbage, minimize costs to build and keep trash and contaminated water inside the landfill to prevent it from causing environmental damage.

  The Hydrophobic Sand lesson was developed through Camp Invention. In this station, students explored the science behind hydrophobic materials while discovering how they can be used to soak up pollution out of water and soil.

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