Summer camp: science plus art equals environmental interest - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Summer camp: science plus art equals environmental interest

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - It's a summer camp where creativity is strongly encouraged. This week, 50 children are taking part in "Camp Leonardo: Where Science Meets Art" at the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs. The children, grades three through five, take field trips to see, touch and experience nature up close.

"Yesterday, they saw an alligator, obviously in the bayous. They saw all these different plants and the trees that grow there," said Ashley Rodriguez, Education Coordinator at the Mary C.

Then, the children use simple household supplies and their imaginations to create their own animal habitats and capture the beauty of the Gulf Coast.

"It just came to me, putting sand like on Horn Island or something," said nine year old Carter Brown, as he used strips of paper to create a landscape collage.

"I did a crab, and it's trying to get its food," said seven year old Nathan Fox, who used plywood pieces and drywall mud for his masterpiece.

The environmental lessons are coming at time when the plants and wildlife around them are being threatened by the oil spill in the Gulf.

"The oil just makes you really think how great the seafood here is and all the things," said Carter.

"The oil spill has been mentioned, especially on the Biloxi shrimping trip. They were really excited to see that they had baby shrimp come up in the nets," said Rodriguez.

And they better understand why they should start now, to conserve and protect their natural resources.

"It's been killing all the fish and killing sea turtles and a bunch of dolphins, and it's bad," said Nathan.

When asked how he plans to protect the sea life, Nathan replied, "Take them back to my house and feed them, and not let them get in the dirty water."

Next week, another 50 children will participate in the summer camp. The program is sponsored by Project Wetkids, USM and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.

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