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This project will bring marine education to a community of K-5 low-income students, through 2D animation and 3D printing. WonderKids, through the University of Southern California (USC), is a program established to bring Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) related lessons to a total of 100 students per semester in the local elementary schools, taught by undergraduate and graduate students. WonderKids will therefore bring the project curriculum into the classrooms. Ultimately this project will be a compilation of lesson plans and documentation of the classrooms on a website, to be accessed by the students as well as provide the teachers with a step by step process for creating the digital arts projects. This project stems from research on gray whales conducted by Carrie Newell as well as a minor thesis, therefore beyond making the website publicly accessible, we hope to share the project with involved networks to increase visibility and impact. The website will be posted on Carrie Newell’s whale watching website, USC’s Joint Educational Project (JEP), working with 75 classrooms, will also have access to the curriculum for future purposes and the project will be shared with the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA), expanding the impact to 750 educators around the country and to the students those teachers impact.
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With a $200 Roots and Shoots mini-grant, we will send 5 girls (age minimum is 13, so only a few of our members qualify) to a Job Shadowing class at Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. The choices include Veterinary Medicine, Mammalogy, Marine Biology, and others. This unique program is consistent with the goals of both Roots and Shoots, in its environmental impact, as well as our group, MESSAGE, in advocating the importance of STEM fields for females.
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Our project will connect each member of the community together in hopes of cleaning and clearing out trash and anything that pollutes the community.
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Our group will be working with one tank of oysters that we placed in a Brooklyn waterway. We will visit the tank four times during the school year, collecting data on the conditions of the water, health, size and growth of the oysters, as well as taking stock of any additional flora and fauna co-existing with our oyster population. Outside of these four visits, we will be working within our classroom to learn about the oysters themselves; why did the start disappearing from New York; what was their benefit to our community; why are we working so hard to bring them back? In order to properly collect data regarding the oysters, students will be learning about the oysters themselves: how do they live, grow, reproduce, and what do they need to survive. They will also need to become familiar with this specific type of data collection, which means they will be exposed to many tools for measuring water turbidity, weather conditions, specimen sampling and more. As a result, their STEM knowledge will be greatly increased from exposure to real-life science and problem solving!
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We will create spaces for native plants, edible plants, and maintain/beautify existing plants and trees. We intend to share these spaces with the community and create an environment in which students, families, and extended families/community members can enjoy the spaces and benefit from what is grown in the Caroldale Community Garden.
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Our goal at MBES is to feed the hungry of Oconee County! Our school has an overarching theme of sustainability, and our third grade is in charge of "feeding" the garden with nutritious compost. We are trying to get all of our school involved in that process so that we can create an efficient process to compost with materials that we use everyday.
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Students will use environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor populations of endangered and threatened species located within the Raccoon Creek watershed of Paulding County (Dallas, GA). Initially, a minimum of 100 students will have an opportunity to work directly with several community partners to study the biodiversity and environmental significance of this prominent waterway. However, this project proposal represents the first step in a large-scale partnership. Thus, this project would eventually benefit the entire Paulding county community. The mini-grant will be used to purchase supplies and reagents needed to perform eDNA analyses and would also greatly defray the cost of other monitoring equipment needed for the start of this project. The equipment and eDNA samples will be used in successive years and would therefore benefit additional students in the future. The overall goal of this project is to provide students with an authentic learning experience with real-world applications.
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This year, we have been studying how a single change to an ecosystem can disrupt the entire food web. We became very concerned when we learned that bee populations were declining around the world because without bees, plants don't get pollinated! Our grade level has decided to build a bee sanctuary at our school that will cater to mason bees, which are safe bees, but also good pollinators. Our contribution to the bee sanctuary will be to design and build bee "baths" where bees can get water. We will also include solar powered water pumps in our fountains because we know that stagnant water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which we are trying to avoid.
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We will start by finding ways to help in our own community by participating in beach and waterway clean ups. We will grow the effort by raising awareness and inviting others to join in. We will use art, sewing and writing to get our message across and fund raise. We will create our own reusable sandwich and snack bags that can take place of hundreds plastic bags. Our young group members will help inspire other young people in their schools and communities through art and through action.
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Our project will protect the animals around and in the woodlands pond. We will put a stop to feeding the animals and littering in and around the pond so they can live a healthier live in a clean habitat.

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