Monday 11 February 2019

Star pupils: students inspire key study on alarming starfish decline

Virus outbreak among sea stars coincided with warm waters, researchers found after sixth graders held fundraiser for survey
Emily Holden in Washington
Wed 30 Jan 2019 19.00 GMTLast modified on Thu 31 Jan 2019 16.05 GMT
Five years ago, a sixth grade class in land-locked Arkansas heard about a mass die-off of starfish on the west coast and felt compelled to help.
The 11- and 12-year-olds elected a chairman to head their fundraiser. They cut out paper starfish – more formally known as sea stars – and put them up for “adoption” for a $1 donation. They assigned them names and personality traits, such as Cherry Bomb, who “loves hanging out on her phone”, “rocks the legging style” and “is really smart but isn’t a nerd”. They sold T-shirts that read: “Save the Starfish.”
“We don’t have an ocean anywhere close by,” their now retired teacher Vickie Bailey said. “The students knew that they would never go to the coast, they would probably never get to see this type of starfish, but they were so passionate about what was happening.”

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