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Educator Combines Magic with Environmental Lessons

Hawthorne Elementary School students learned about the importance of conserving and protecting water from environmental educator Lynn Hodges and Lockheed Martin.

Students at Hawthorne Elementary School were treated to a magical experience on Friday in Middle River.

Nationally-known environmental educator Lynn Hodges used magic tricks to teach students about where water comes from and the importance of conserving and protecting it. His visit to Hawthorne Elementary was sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corp.

Hodges performed the presentation, called “Where’s the Water?” entertaining a total of 17 classrooms of first- through fifth-graders while also reaching the students with meaningful messages about society’s responsibility for keeping water clean and cleaning it up when contamination is identified.

“People are recognizing that it takes all of us working together to solve these problems,” Hodges said after the performance. “Industry, citizens groups, individuals — we all need to come together to find the solutions. I’m happy to say that, today, I see people around the country and the world beginning to work together. That is a big step.”

Students were excited by Hodges’ performance — not only by seeing the magic and learning about science, but also by learning about the possibilities for careers in environmental science.

Through interactive activities and magic tricks, Hodges taught the students serious science, including that the earth is 75 percent water, with only 1 percent available as fresh water.

In each of his presentations, he also taught the students that:

  • We all have a responsibility to protect groundwater,
  • If the water hasn’t been kept clean, industry and those involved have a responsibility to clean it up, and
  • Environmental science careers can be fun and exciting.

“Quite literally, these children will be dealing with these issues for their whole lifetime, so it is important for them as they grow up to understand the root causes and the alternative solutions,” said Hodges, who has written several published novels and five educational guides for grades K-12. His curriculum guide entitled World of Resources received the “Take Pride in America” Presidential Award.

“I also work with teachers on this subject matter,” he added, “because when you integrate environmental information into subjects such as math, science, social studies and the arts, you improve education across the board because you’re applying real-life examples and giving students practical uses for their basic skills.”

Lockheed Martin is actively involved in environmental cleanup projects at its and Martin State Airport. The corporation is committed to cleaning up groundwater, soil and sediments impacted by heritage industrial operations in the area.

Lockheed Martin has partnered with the Middle River community on environmental improvement and community events such as the Bein’Green cleanup and the ’s Fall Festivals.

Lockheed Martin also is committed to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, as well as environmental education.

“Lockheed Martin supports STEM education because we need our country’s best and brightest students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math in order for us to remain a technological leader,” said Lockheed Martin communicator Gary Cambre.

“We sponsor presentations like this for our country’s youngest students,” Cambre added, “because the presentations excite them about science and help them understand that everyone, even people at their age, can help protect our environment and make a difference in this world.”

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