The fifth-graders at St. Martin’s Episcopal School are proof that you don’t have to be grown up to make a huge impact.

Since 2011, students at the Atlanta school have donated $4,473.75 to UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium. A check for the school’s most recent donation of $1,000 was presented last spring during the annual fifth-grade trip to to Skidaway Island.

“You have given so much to us and our fifth-graders, that we really wanted to give back,” said Mary McPherson, elementary school principal at St. Martin’s.

The students raised the money at a bake sale, part of St. Martin’s annual Cookie Company project, an interdisciplinary unit in which fifth-graders work in small teams to form cookie companies. The students learn about advertising, website development, budgets, and they sharpen their math skills through calculating for large-batch baking. All of this takes place over 10 days, culminating with a school-wide bake sale.

“It lets our students see where their money is going,” McPherson said, “which is an important part of our service-learning development.”

Over the years, the donations have been used to purchase a variety of items for UGA Aquarium, including a 15-person life raft, life jackets; life rings; a marine-grade hot water heater and refrigerator for the R/V Sea Dawg; a VHF marine radio; a GPS Chart Plotter; and several anchors.

“The students are very generous and proud to be able to help UGA’s educational efforts,” said John “Crawfish” Crawford, a marine education specialist and boat captain at UGA Aquarium. “They are appreciative, very interested, polite and a real pleasure to teach.”