Dr. Edward L. Whigham Elementary School in Cutler Bay conducted its seventh annual Environmental Extravaganza and STEAM Showcase on Wednesday, May 23. The event was sponsored by the school’s WAVE (Whigham Aquatic Visionary Explorers) Academy and Dream in Green, a Florida non-profit that supports schools in fostering student leadership through environmental issues.
Adrian Delesdernier, education specialist, stressed the importance of the yearly event.
“The purpose of the Environmental Extravaganza is to provide an authentic opportunity for students to both learn about and teach others about the importance of protecting our environment,” Delesdernier said. “Student projects are multi-disciplinary, which is why the event is also a STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics] showcase.”
Special guests were recognized for supporting STEAM education at Whigham including: Chris Bumpus, Learning Programs manager from
Deering Estate, and Julie Heyde from Miami Seaquarium. Also recognized were students from Cutler Bay Senior High School and volunteers from the PTA at Whigham Elementary School.
There were more than 200 guests in attendance and 18 students received awards for their participation in schoolwide contests as part of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s Elementary School Challenge and the school’s own Spring Recycling STEAM Challenge.
“This event is the showcase of student research that focuses on science and the environment,” Delesdernier said. “Students participated in research that was inspired by environmental headlines from oil spills, to water quality, pollution and imperiled habitats.”
Featured student clubs included the Dolphins Robotics and Engineering Club and Whigham Junior Engineers. The Art Club and chorus also were represented. The chorus performed a medley of environmental inspired songs under the direction of Luis. E. Saenz Sr.
Susan Cummings, a fifth grade teacher and WAVE Academy co-founder, was pleased with the event and the students’ efforts.
“I am so proud that each year our Environmental Fair enables Whigham students to showcase their passion and concern for Cutler Bay,” she said.