The St Augustine Alligator Farm announced to Historic City News that nine-year-old Meghan Hart has won the zoological park’s annual “EduGator” contest — and the prize will be enjoyed by her entire class at Ponte Vedra Palm Valley Rawlings Elementary School in St Johns County.
The unique contest allows students to use what they’ve learned about Florida’s largest reptile to educate others about the important role the once-endangered species plays in Florida’s ecosystems.
“Congratulations to Meghan Hart who won the Alligator Farm contest by creating her ABC Book of Alligator Terms,” Meghan’s fourth grade teacher, Peggy Kulick, told her class. “We will now get to keep a pet alligator in our classroom for the rest of the year.”
Hart won the county-wide contest which asked fourth graders to submit individual projects answering the question, “Why are American alligators important?”
The hatchling alligator will be presented to the class on January 16, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. by Katie Girvin, Curator of Education at the Alligator Farm.
“We get very creative submissions for this contest each year,” Alligator Farm Director John Brueggen said. “It’s a great way for us to connect classrooms in St Johns County with our message of conservation in a fun and exciting way.”
An Alligator Farm reptile keeper will check on the animal periodically, but daily care of the young alligator will be provided by the teacher and her class. The Alligator Farm provides animal husbandry training to the teacher of the winning class.