Good grades yield trip to IMMS for Pearl River students - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Good grades yield trip to IMMS for Pearl River students

Pearl River Central Upper Elementary School students pet rays at the IMMS. (Photo source: WLOX) Pearl River Central Upper Elementary School students pet rays at the IMMS. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

It pays to test well, at least in the case of fourth and fifth grade students from Pearl River Central Upper Elementary School.

Advanced scores on the Mississippi Curriculum Test, Second Edition earned 132 students a trip to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport.

Students piled into the institute ready to learn about something many have never been exposed to; marine life.

The field trip, headed by Assistant Principal Dr. Diana Sweigart, was a way to reward the students for academic achievement.

At the institute, hands-on learning makes the experience worth the trip.

"They need to be challenged and learn about new things in the Gulf Coast," Sweigart said. "Many of them had not been to the marine center, so we chose them to come down here so they can learn more about their State of Mississippi."

IMMS President and Director Dr. Moby Solangi said the experience should pay long-term benefits.

"What the field trip does is instill good stewardship," Solangi said. "It's extremely important that young people appreciate the environment, appreciate what we are on the Gulf Coast."

As part of the day, students learned how to rescue a dolphin, tried their skills in sand-box hunting and computer games and, of course, there is the sea-water version of a petting zoo.

It was the right place to be for 9-year-old fourth grader Kara Byrd.

"It's really cool, because I want to be a vet when I grow up," Kara said. "It's cool that I'm in a place where they rescue animals."

For 10-year-old fifth grader Presley Bauer, the experience could mean a career change.

"I really like dancing, so I might want to be a dance teacher," Presley said. "But this is very cool too, so I might want to work here someday."

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