Peanut the turtle has won the hearts of Center School students

Apr 15, 2023

MATTAPOISETT— Peanut the diamondback terrapin turtle may not be as feisty as his predecessor Bubbles but his calm personality has won the hearts of students at Center School.

“I like Peanut because he is cute and he helps us stay calm,” said Piper M, a first grade student at Center School.

“It’s pretty involved for the kids,” said science teacher Ben Squire. Peanut has filled Bubble’s role as the class pet with purpose.

According to New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance headstarter Dani Martson, this terrapin project began in 2020 to teach students about endangered species and environment conservation.

Squire’s second grade class has researched and written persuasive essays about protecting the diamondback terrapin’s habitat of coastal saltwater marshes.  

Student’s will track Peanut’s growth, take turns feeding him and even help change the water in his tank until Peanut is released back into the wild in early June, said Squire.

“We change his water because turtles love to swim in the clean water,” said Grace D, a first grade student at Center School.

According to Squire, Peanut has grown 10 times his size since his original weight of 4.5 grams in September.

Peanut is loved throughout the school  and has branched out from being the focal point of science class.

“We’ve had math teachers use Peanut as the base of problems,” said Squire. 

According to Squire, Peanut has even made an appearance at the Mattapoisett Student Art Show where students made turtle themed pins to raise awareness about habitat conservation. 

“We want kids to care about these turtles and salt marshes, that way we have another generation who knows about them and is willing to protect them,” Marston said.