”In nature, nothing exists alone.” It’s a quote by Rachel Carson, a 20th century marine biologist and author of the book Silent Spring. Last year, 7th graders through out Maine studied Carson’s Work and the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Refuge wanted to reward the students for their efforts.U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Assistant Refuge Manager, Karrie Schwaab said “Fish and Wildlife really does have a mission of connecting kids with nature and so we thought maybe this will work.”The two organizations held a state-wide essay contest for the middle schoolers. Their mission: to explain what Carson’s environmental work means to them.Second Place Winner, Crystal Bell said “Whenever I kind of had a mental block, I just looked out the window and I though about all the things I’ve done along with nature, kind of like Rachel Carson.”Two students from Holbrook School in Holden walked away with the 2nd and 3rd prize, out of over 250 entries around the state. “It’s my first time winning anything this big and for both of us to be from the same school, it’s pretty cool,” said 3rd place winner, Samantha McIntyre.Organizers believe the 7th graders knowledge of the environment is well beyond their years. Director of Education at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Suzanne Eder explained. “They get it. They understand the issues, the environmental issues that we have and the important of getting outside and being with nature.”The other top prizes were awarded to Drake Janes from Adams School in Castine, who won first place.While the Grand Prize, an iPad, went to Nick Prato from Frank Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth.