Tenth graders stepped into the shoes of scientists and became stewards of our environment by implementing solutions to local water issues. Students learned about the history of the world through water, collaborated with local and regional organizations, and engaged in scientific research to test solutions to issues such as water pollution, lack of clean water access, overuse or waste of water supplies, and endangered marine life. Students submitted their action plans to the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a national K-12 environmental sustainability competition, and created a documentation panel and interactive exhibit to showcase their work.
The Siemens competition challenged our students to think like scientists and tackle real problems that affect real people. By providing a rigid but broad framework, we were able to incorporate student voice and choice in the design and execution of each group’s action plan. Solutions included a solar-heated water bag, a three-step filtration for our school’s reclaimed water supply, and a quantitative study of the impact of hand sanitizer on water usage and bathroom resources.
The research and hours of time that we spent working have changed me. Every day brought me closer to my group and my planet, giving me a strong understanding of why I should care and what I can do to help.
This project helped us construct an idea of our issue based on the expertise of professionals in the field. The Siemens challenge made us realize that the work we were doing would have an impact on the community that would transcend HTHCV.
The level of learning was incomparable to anything I’ve ever done. Giving back to a community and knowing that your hard work is currently serving a purpose and benefiting a family might just be the best feeling in the world.
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