Where else can you learn about lobsters, pirates or scuba-diving adventures?

Where else can you learn about lobsters, pirates or scuba-diving adventures?

Carthage students who attended summer school this year had “Under the Sea Adventures” learning with unique and fun guest speakers. Topics ranged from scuba-diving equipment to famous pirates, all coordinating with the pelagic theme.

“We've had some amazing speakers,” said Robin Jones, spearheading the summer school program. “The speakers have enhanced what the students are reading, which all coincides with the Under the Sea theme. We try to bring in the theme as much as possible, but the speakers make that learning come to life.”

Shai Mohammed and Candice Gilbert with Red Lobster brought live lobsters and Valerie Earl with Calypso Scuba Dive Shop shared her underwater adventures and information with the students. At the Carthage Middle School, Marti Pittman, project director at the Southwest Center in Webb City, presented pirates – myths versus historical facts. Pittman's visit was made possible through the Teaching American History Federal Grant, which benefits 55 school districts in southwest Missouri.

“The kids call me the trunk lady,” Pittman said with a laugh. “I'm one of many presenters, but the trunks are available to all of the school districts … The pirates is very popular.”

The middle schoolers learned a bit about the time period of 1500-1700s, the peak of pirates' glory in the Caribbean Sea.

“It was pretty fun,” said fifth grader Eric Ortega. “They showed us some great books and you get to design your own flag and everything.”

Pittman even introduced famous pirates like Black Beard, Mary Read and Ann Bonny. William Mobley, who was one of the fifth graders dressed up as a pirate, said it would be cool to be a pirate “except when you get shot by a cannon.”

“Getting the kids excited about learning history is the best part,” Pittman said. “I love it.”

The elementary kids had shining eyes when they were given the opportunity to pet Clyde, the seven-year-old, one-and-a-half-pound Maine lobster. When Mohammed asked the kids why the Maine lobster was called “the Maine lobster,” kindergartner Kelvin Reyes spoke up with his answer.

“Because he's a man,” he chimed in from the young crowd.

With a big smile Mohammed recommended Kelvin come work for him at Red Lobster.
“It's been remarkable,” Jones said. “The students really get excited.”

Fun Lobster Facts
There are two kinds of lobsters, Maine and Spine lobsters. The only difference between the two is the Spine lobsters have no claws. You can tell if a lobster is right-handed or left-handed judging by which is bigger. For Clyde, the Main lobster who visited Carthage schools, his crusher was his right hand.

Pirate Facts
A pirate's life wasn't always a wonderful life. They were dirty, and usually starving. Though known for criminal behavior, pirates followed certain codes. They spent their treasure frivolously, but the idea of a pirate's buried treasure comes from Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.

Scuba Facts
A person as young as 10 years old can become a certified scuba-diver. Valerie Earl, manager at Calypso Scuba Dive Shop in Joplin, says diving is a lifelong sport. According to AIDA, the record for the longest breath hold is owned by Tom Sietas at 9 min. 8 sec., which he accomplished in Hamburg, Germany in 2007.