Students learn about ‘Winter’s Tail’

Special to The Message

Students in Mollie Ravellette's 5th-grade class at St. Joseph School in Princeton recently enjoyed a virtual field trip to visit with the designer of Winter's Tail. Here is some information about Winter from the website, as told by Isabella Hatkoff, Juliana Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Paula Kahumbu:

“Winter is a dolphin. Just over two years ago, when she was a baby, she was rescued from a crab trap, her tail seriously damaged. Winter was rushed to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a marine animal hospital. It wasn't clear that she would survive.

“She did, but eventually her tail fell off. Winter compensated by swimming more like a fish than a dolphin, which was seriously damaging her spine. For the last year, Winter has been learning to use a prosthetic tail. The idea came from a company that makes prosthetics for humans. It was very challenging, but Winter is thriving and using her new tail with great command.

“The special technology used for Winter's prosthetic tail is being used to develop prosthetics for Iraq war veterans who have especially sensitive injuries.”

In her regular newsletter for students and their families, Mrs. Ravellette said, "I would like to thank Shawn Seib for helping us arrange a Zoom meeting with Kevin Carroll, the designer of Winter’s Tail. The children and I really enjoyed talking with Mr. Carroll. Shawn also had one of the prosthetic tails delivered to us so we could see it in person. This was a truly inspiring story and experience for all of us."

In one of the accompanying submitted photos, fifth-grader Dodge Seib is holding the prototype of Winter’s Tail. The other photo has a nice closeup of Winter from the virtual field trip. Kevin Carroll is at the bottom right of the screen.