Earth Week 2004
  • Earth Day Projects 2004
  • Earth Day information (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Earth Day Groceries Project


    4th Annual
    Earth Day
    "Kids CAN Make a Difference"

    2004 Program
    Western U.P. Students Do Really Make A Difference!

    This year 818 students from 13 local schools all over the Western Upper Peninsula have celebrated Earth Day with creative projects to benefit their communities and local environment! The “Kids CAN Make A Difference” Earth Day Program is sponsored by the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics & Environmental Education with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Wege Foundation.

    “This year we have been very excited to see that so much enthusiasm exists locally among local youth and educators! Approximately the same number of groups participated as last year, but many more students were involved,” says Pam Schmidt, coordinator of the program.

    “Saving the environment isn’t that hard … just by doing small things people can make a pretty big impact,” reports Galan Miron, a student at Jeffers High School, who organized a school-wide paper recycling program.

    Each group that registered for the contest received a recognition certificate in honor of their accomplishments and an ice cream party to celebrate their hard work. Each group also had their name entered in a raffle drawing for a chance to win a grand prize for their age group, K-5 or 6-12.

    Read below to find out more about all of the projects and this year’s Grand Prize winners!

    Earth Day 2004 Projects

    You can click on a photo to see a larger picture

    Arvon Township School Arvon Township School, Skanee

    Jennifer Lynn’s students at Arvon Township School in Skanee completed several ecology-related projects. Students planted vegetable and flower seeds, which they are caring for indoors until the weather warms up. Then, they will be moving the plants outdoors to their new garden plot, which they prepared. Students have also been learning about composting. They have a compost pile out in their schoolyard, as well as a worm-composting bin in the basement. Students feed up to a pound of leftover food wastes from their lunches to the worms everyday day!


    CJ Sullivan, L'Anse

    All three of the first grade classes at C.J. Sullivan Elementary helped clean up litter around their schoolyard. Students also made posters to remind students at the school not to litter, have been growing plants in their classroom from seed, and made birdfeeders with pinecones! The first grade teachers are Michelle Seppanen, Helen Kujansuu, and Christy Marta.

    The second grade students at C.J. Sullivan Elementary have been studying and doing projects related to bats. Students made posters about bats and placed them at different sites in the community to help other people learn about bats. Each child also made their own bat, which was hung in the classroom, where it was “hibernating” all winter long. When it warms up enough, the bats will be moved to a new location. The second grade teachers are Joanne Besonen and Callie DeLeon.
    Third grade students at C.J. Sullivan Elementary decorated grocery bags for a local grocery store with environmentally-friendly messages. The third grade teachers are Angela Marczak, Angela Smith, and Judy Vanderzanden.
    The fourth and fifth grade students at C.J. Sullivan Elementary, coordinated by teachers Rebecca Stroube and Helen Grentz, coordinated a community recycling program. Students promoted recycling in their school with posters, and collected cans, newspaper, and plastic milk jugs, which will be transported to the recycling center in Houghton.

    Calumet High School

    The Envirothon Team at Calumet High School, advised by teacher Corey Soumis, researched native plants, and have made plans for establishing a native plant garden at their school. Students have worked extensively with local resource professionals, and will be completing the first phase of the planting project during the month of May. This year students will be preparing a 900 square foot area to plant the following types of plants: Highbush Cranberry, Bergamot, Black-eyed Susan, and Pale Purple Coneflower. MTU Volunteer Melissa Jarvie assisted this group with their project.

    CLK Elementary, Calumet

    Julie Fenton’s fifth grade students (with the assistance of MTU volunteer Loralee Miller) at C-L-K Elementary in Calumet were studying about ecology, and planned several projects related to providing habitat for wildlife and improving their schoolyard. Students built several bluebird boxes and some bat houses to hang up around their community. Students are also picking up litter around their schoolyard, and planting gardens in their schoolyard. In May, students plan to participate in a tree-planting project at their school.


    Dollar Bay Elementary

    All 156 elementary students at Dollar Bay School decorated grocery bags with Earth Day messages for Richie’s Grocery Store!

    Kindergarten & First Grade (Teachers Jamie Hytinen and Kristy Heinonen) Second and Third Grade (Teachers Elizabeth Leach and Joanne Greub)
    Fourth and Fifth Grade (Myrna Boutin and Kevin Butler) Sixth Grade (Walter Babcock and Kristen Kariainen)

    Houghton Middle School, Hancock

    Jim Louma and student teacher Michael Roush’s 8th grade students at Houghton Middle School built solar collectors/ovens as a part of their study of energy resources. Students also conducted a clean up of the Huron Creek.

    Hancock Elementary

    Deb Barna’s fourth grade students (with the assistance of MTU volunteer Angela Arpke) at Hancock Elementary studied about migrating birds and built nine blue bird houses, some of which , will be installed in their school nature area, and at Sturgeon River Slough Wildlife Reserve.

    Melanie Wall’s PK and Kindergarten Daycare program at Hancock Elementary conducted a clean up of their schoolyard.



    Houghton Elementary, Houghton

    Lois Jambekar’s fifth grade students at Houghton Elementary sponsored a school-wide recycling program throughout the school year and conducted a neighborhood clean-up, picking up litter in an eight block area around the school.

    Jeffer's High School, Painesdale

    Students from the National Honor Society at Jeffers High School coordinated a school wide recycling program for paper. Students transported the paper to Michigan Tech once a month during the school year.

    Lake Linden-Hubbell Elementary, Lake Linden

    Laura Rowe’s fifth grade class at Lake Linden-Hubbell School prepared puppet shows with environmentally-friendly messages for the kindergarteners and first graders. Some topics addressed by in the puppet shows were littering, taking care of animals and recycling. Students made some very creative puppets from paper mache.

    Sleight Elementary, Ironwood

    Mrs. Pisani’s third grade students at Sleight Elementary in Ironwood collected much needed old blankets and newspapers to donate to the HOPE Animal Shelter. Students were visited by a puppy and kitten who had been residing at the animal shelter, as well as some volunteer animal shelter staff.

    Wakefield School

    Patricia Houle and Michele Anzalone’s High Five Mentoring group, consisting of elementary and high school students, conducted a school yard clean up. On the first day of their clean up, they estimated a collection of around 50 pounds of litter!

    Mary Toomey’s 7th grade students studied about how much water is typically used by the average American. Students created visual representations of how much water is consumed in different situations such as washing dishes or brushing teeth, using gallon-sized milk jugs. To help share their message with the school community, the milk-jug projects were exhibited in the school hallway, along with water-related informational posters. MTU Volunteer Michelle Miller assisted this group with their project.
    Mary Toomey’s 8th grade students used the school P.A. systems to make announcements related to ideas for conserving water use at home and at school. A few students in the class completed a special research project related to Mad Cow disease.

    Washington Elementary, Bessemer

    Debbie Lekie’s fourth grade students at Washington Elementary in Bessemer have been learning about plants. They worked with Master Gardeners from the community and started marigold plants from seeds. They have been taking care of the plants and doing some experiments related to what plants need to grow.

    2004 Grand Prize Winners!

    Congratulations to our Grand Prize winners, selected in a raffle drawing from all entries!

    Earth Day Tool Kit - Grade K-5 Age Group
    CCISD: Houghton Elementary: Lois Jambekar, Grade 5
    GOISD: Sleight Elementary: Carol Pisani, Grade 3 and Washington Elementary (Bessemer): Debbie Lekies, Grade 4

    $250 Field Trip Awards went to the following Grade 6-12 groups:
    CCISD: Hancock Middle School: Michael Roush/Jim Louma, Grade 8
    CCISD: Calumet High School Envirothon Team, Corey Soumis, Grades 9-12
    GOISD: Wakefield School: Mary Toomey, Grades 7 & 8
    GOISD: Wakefield School High Five Mentoring Group, Grades 9-12

    Congratulations to Student Winners and the Western U.P. Center: Winner of Michigan's Education Excellence Award from 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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