A quest for verse that’s bestAwards were presented two weeks ago to winners and runners-up in the 2012 Captain Ray Skelton River Quest Essay and Poetry Contest, following up on the hands-on learning experiences they and nearly 1,200 other sixth-graders had during River Quest 2012.
By: Catherine Vaught, Duluth Budgeteer News
Awards were presented two weeks ago to winners and runners-up in the 2012 Captain Ray Skelton River Quest Essay and Poetry Contest, following up on the hands-on learning experiences they and nearly 1,200 other sixth-graders had during River Quest 2012.
River Quest is an event that takes place every May for sixth-graders in the Duluth-Superior area. Students participate in hands-on learning activities that raise awareness of the St. Louis River ecosystem, as well as other interrelated commercial, industrial, and recreational activities. This was the fifth year of the writing contest and the first year with a poetry category. The contest was named in memory of Captain Ray Skelton – one of the program’s founders, a master mariner, and longtime Duluth Seaway Port Authority staff member. Since its inception in 1993, more than 16,000 students have been a part of River Quest.
Marina Melby from Marshall School won first place in the essay contest; Benjamin Emmel from St. James Catholic School was runner-up; Grace Cannon from Woodland Middle School took first-place honors in the poetry contest with Noah Schottenbauer from Marshall School as runner-up.
Their teachers, parents, and classmates were on hand for the surprise presentations of the awards – which included a “traveling plaque” that will remain on display at each of the winning schools for a full semester next academic year. Each first-place winner also received a prize package that included gift certificates to several area attractions and events.
For more information about River Quest or to read full-length essays, visit seagrant.umn.edu/riverquest.
Excerpts from the winning compositions:
“… did you know that your sewage gets treated, goes back to Lake Superior, and eventually makes it back to your drinking water? … I know this may be hard to believe, but the water is treated by bacteria. The bacteria is given a lot of dissolved oxygen, and starts to eat all of the nutrients. When the bacteria is done, the water is disinfected and returned to the St. Louis River. From there, it flows into Lake Superior, which will eventually make it to another treatment plant, and start the cycle again.”
-Marina Melby, 6th grade, Marshall School
“Rip, drip, oil slick mucking up the lake,
Birds can’t fly, fish may die, all for profit’s sake.
Pick it up, suck it up, any way you can
To save our lake for every child, woman and man
To swim in and sail on all summer long.”
-Grace Cannon, 6th grade, Woodland Middle School