The annual Coast Day essay contest is open and fifth graders are asked to write about everyday discoveries.

Coast Day essay contest

Coast Day essay contest asks fifth graders how they discover the land, air and water in Delaware


3:48 p.m., Aug. 26, 2015--Fifth graders are invited to participate in the annual Coast Day essay contest by answering the question, “How do you discover the land, air and water around Delaware?”

Students are surrounded by opportunities for learning about Delaware’s terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments — in the classroom, in the library, online, through University of Delaware resources and every time they go outside. 

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In keeping with this year’s Coast Day theme, “Discoveries on land, in the air and at sea,” students are encouraged to consider the ways they learn about and explore the outdoors, as well as methods they can employ to conserve it.

Contest winners will be recognized at Coast Day, to be held Sunday, Oct. 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. Bookstore gift cards in the amounts of $100, $75 and $50 will be awarded for first through third place, with honorable mention recognized. Teachers of winning students will receive gift cards toward classroom materials.

Coast Day, the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) and Delaware Sea Grant’s premier celebration of the sea, attracts thousands of attendees every year. Participants can wander through tents featuring educational exhibits, tour research vessels, sample the region’s best seafood and develop a deeper appreciation for the sea and marine stewardship.

TEACH FLEET model ships will return to Coast Day this year, back by popular demand. The Lego ships include small tug boats, large oil tankers and every size vessel in between. New this year, fleet designer and builder Wilbert McKinley will display a model of UD’s research vessel, the R/V Hugh R. Sharp, a project sponsored by Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation.

The Robotic Discovery Laboratories will also be open for a special exhibit. Visitors will see gliders, autonomous underwater vehicles and other advanced robots that UD researchers use to explore shark habitats and recover lost World War II planes, among other projects.

“Coast Day connects student scientists, UD researchers and members of the marine community in a fun, engaging and educational way,” said Chris Petrone, marine education specialist with Delaware Sea Grant. “The essay contest gives students and teachers a chance to participate as researchers, and to share their own discoveries.”

Essay submissions are limited to 400 words. Entries must be post-marked or hand-delivered by close-of-business, Sept. 18.

Entries can be mailed or delivered to:

Coast Day Essay Contest

Delaware Sea Grant—Marine Advisory Service

700 Pilottown Road

Lewes, DE 19958

See the Coast Day contests page for complete rules and guidelines or to read past winning entries.

For more information, visit the Coast Day website.

Article by Caren Fitzgerald

Photo by Evan Krape

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