Earth Week 2003
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    "Kids CAN Make a Difference"

    2003 Program Benefits Local Schools & Communities

    More than 360 students from ten schools in Baraga, Houghton, and Gogebic Counties participated in the 3rd annual “Kids CAN Make A Difference” Program in celebration of Earth Day 2003!! The program is sponsored by the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics & Environmental Education and the Wege Foundation.

    The goal of this program is to encourage students to make a difference in their schools and communities by learning about, protecting and improving the environment. This year, while participation was down from last year, students demonstrated a lot of enthusiasm and conducted a wide range of very worthwhile projects!

    Earth Day 2003 Projects
    Arvon Township School, Skanee

    The six students at this school (in grades 2-6) learned about what happens to water once it goes down the drain. They did a project where they took "wastewater" and used screens, rocks, charcoal, coffee filters, and alum to filter out the waste from the water, modeling the process that happens in a sewage treatment facility. After completing this project, students wrote haiku poetry about water. Click here to read their work.

    Sparkling Water Haiku

    CJ Sullivan, L'Anse

    Coordinated by teacher Michelle Seppanen, fifty-eight first graders from CJ Sullivan planted wildflower seeds in their classroom. They planned to take care of the growing plants, and then transplant them into a butterfly garden at the school. Joanne Besonen's seventeen second graders studied bats and then did a project to help educate others about why people should protect bats. They made illustrated posters to try to get people to think about their behavior toward bats and to improve people's behavior toward bats. Students hung their posters around the Covington/Watton, L'Anse, and Baraga areas. One poster even went to Carlsbad Masonic Lodge in California!    


    CLK Elementary, Calumet

    Fifteen students from Cherrie Huelsberg's after school science class made bird feeders from used milk cartons. The students took their bird feeders home to hang on trees and watch for birds.    

    E.B. Holman, Stanton Township

    Ralph Johnson's 11 eight graders at E.B. Holman noticed that the area around the Redridge Dam was becoming littered with trash. To help make this area a cleaner and more enjoyable place for recreational use, as well as an improved habitat for fish and wildlife, students armed themselves with rakes, shovels, and garbage bags, and cleaned up garbage around the Redridge Dam area.    

    Hancock Middle School, Hancock

    Seventy students (grades 6-8) from the Hancock Middle School Student Council, coordinated by Ruth Ann Smith, worked to improve their school grounds. First they conducted a schoolyard cleanup and then held a bake sale to raise money in order to purchase a tree for their schoolyard. On their own, three students at the Middle School initiated their own project. At Porvoo Park, the three students raked leaves, cleaned up trash, and planted new flowers. Another student, independently initiated a project regarding the Iberian Linx, an endangered species found in the Iberian Peninsula. In the future, this student plans to work to raise funds to help assist in the conservation of this animal.    

    Hancock High School, Hancock

    Twenty-seven students from Kerry Kostamo's 6th hour class completed a clean up of their school grounds. Kostamo's 7th hour class collected recyclable pop cans as a fundraiser for the Hancock Beautification project. Five student created works of art out of items that had would have otherwise been considered "garbage." Two students also created posters to advertise the MTU Earth Week events. The posters were then posted throughout the school.    

    Houghton Elementary, Houghton

    After learning about bats, Jayne Johnson thirty-six kindergarten students built bat houses and bird feeders to hang at their school. Twenty-three students from Lois Jambekar's fifth grade class completed two projects. At the beginning of the year, the class started a paper-recycling program for their school. They placed boxes in each classroom for recyclable paper, and then collected the paper throughout the school year on a weekly basis. Community Mental Health helped by picking the paper up from the school every week and transferring it to a recycling center in Wisconsin. As a second project, the class also conducted trash pick-ups at several sites in the Houghton area. They picked up trash along the Houghton waterfront, as well as along the blocks of Jacker, Baraga, Calverley, and Douglass Avenues in Houghton.    

    Jeffer's High School, Painesdale

    Eight students from Steve Lancour's Class at Jeffer's High School started a paper-recycling program at their school. Students placed boxes in each classroom and then collected the paper on a regular basis. Waste paper was either taken to the recycling station, or turned into scratch paper for use in the school. The group hoped to get an idea of how much paper is used during the school year, and how much ends up in the area landfills. In another project, three students from Jeffer's High School worked with teachers Lindsey Thompson and Gary Miller to build 2 picnic tables for their newly designed courtyard area. Students at the school will now be able to enjoy their lunches outdoors during warm weather.    

    Lake Linden-Hubbell Elementary, Lake Linden

    This spring, fifty students from Nadine Plante's 8th grade science classes conducted an in-stream and stream bank clean up along the Trap Rock River. During the previous fall students completed a water quality study at the same four sites. Throughout the project, students learned about habitat, water chemistry, pollution, and local history.    


    Washington Elementary, Bessemer

    Pat Filippini's nineteen 3rd grade students studied about ways to keep the earth healthy and made posters relating some of the ideas they learned. They planned to display these posters around the community to inform other so the importance of a healthy earth.    

    2003 Grand Prize Winners!

    Congratulations to our Grand Prize winners, selected by drawing from all entries!

    Earth Day Tool Kit-Grade K-5 age group
    C.J. Sullivan Elementary
    Grade 2
    Teacher: Joanne Besonen

    $300 value Field Trip
    Jeffer’s High School
    Grades: 9-12
    Teachers: Steve Lancour, Lindsey Thompson, and Gary Miller


    Congratulations to Student Winners and the Western U.P. Center: Winner of Michigan's Education Excellence Award form the Michigan Association of School
    Boards (MASB) and sponsored by SET SEG, School Insurance

    Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics & Environmental Education
    Michigan Technological University
    1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI 49931-1295
    Tel: 906-487-3341


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