FELLSMERE – More than a dozen Fellsmere Elementary School fifth graders gave up their Saturday to raise money to help the environment. For eight hours, the students worked shifts in front of the Sebastian Wal-Mart, collecting donations they would later use to buy special light bulbs.
“We don’t really have to convince them,” parent Paige Newinski said of getting the kids to help on the weekend.
Before noon on Saturday, the kids had already collected about $200. They planned to be out at the store until 4 p.m. “They’re working hard,” Newinski said.
The kids are swapping out incandescent light bulbs for the new, eco-friendly CFL bulbs, which cost more but last far longer and conserve more energy.
Last week, the Fellsmere Science Investigators made a presentation to the Fellsmere City Council about their project, saying they had swapped out more than 600 incandescent bulbs for the CFLs.
As part of the school’s science club, the 20 members are learning about the environment, ways to be energy efficient and how to pass that knowledge on to the public at large.
They are working on a flyer they will be giving to the City of Fellsmere to be placed in the city’s water bills to customers. They have also been tasked with helping the city better promote its recycling program.
Fellsmere Science Investigator’s treasurer, Bailee Moss, said she likes science and wants to learn more because she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. The club will be adopting a panther and she expects to learn more about the animal through the club.
“I like exploding experiments,” Ciara Golliher said, which is why she wanted to join the club. However, the club has been learning more about ways to conserve energy rather than causing explosions.
The fifth graders at Fellsmere Elementary went on a field trip Friday to the Kennedy Space Center where they learned about the space program. The science club members got an extra experience while there – having lunch with an astronaut.
Jessica Espinoza said it was neat learning about the Moon Walk and what it’s like living in zero gravity – like how astronauts eat, brush their teeth, and shower.
“We try to do what we can to make the kids aware” of the bigger world, said teacher Linda Combs, and give back to the community.
That’s where the light bulbs come in – it helps the environment at the same time as they educate the public about the importance of switching their old bulbs for new.
People who want to swap out a bulb can do so by stopping by Fellsmere Elementary during school hours. Donations, too, are greatly appreciated, Newinski said.
The club received a Home Depot grant, which they used to purchase the CFL bulbs they have been handing out. They are also reaching out to the Fellsmere business community, seeking sponsorships and donations to continue purchasing the bulbs and funding field trips the club plans to go on.
Anyone interested in helping the club can call the school at (772) 564-5970 and ask for Paige Newinski, Linda Combs, or Jeramy Keen.