by Sarah Hooper and Bill Zoellick
During the 2019-20 school year, students from the Pathways Program at Sumner Memorial High School undertook research aimed at providing the Gouldsboro Shellfish Committee with insight into clam growth and survival at two locations where the town was considering clam flat restoration. Many pathways students participated in sorting experimental samples, measuring clams, and recording, analyzing, and exploring data in order to answer questions for the community. When schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, two students, Danielle Crocket and Jasmine O’Donnell, took on the work of completing the data analysis and preparing the presentation to the town.
In this video, students present their work (via Zoom) to Mike Pinkham (Gouldsboro Shellfish Warden) and Heidi Leighton (Department of Marine Resources). While the presentation isn’t polished, both of these young student-scientists stretched far beyond their comfort zones to follow through on the project to its conclusion. Both had made it abundantly clear that they were happy to do the data analysis and slide prep, but in no way wanted to be presenters. In the end, they were the two Sumner Pathways students who stayed with the project all the way through, and therefore, rose to the occasion to present the final project to the community. They were incredibly nervous, but did it anyway! Bill and I are incredibly grateful and proud of them for their work, their efforts, and their integrity.