For Immediate Release For more information contact:
April 22, 2006 Joan Chadde: 906-487-3341 (W) 296-1120 (H)
Earth Day 2006 "Kids CAN Make a Difference"
Program Benefits All
April 22 is Earth Day. This year, 649 students from nine schools in
Houghton, Baraga, and Gogebic Counties celebrated Earth Day by designing
projects that will benefit their schools, their communities, and the
Twelve different projects were submitted as part of the Sixth Annual
Kids CAN Make A Difference Earth Day Program sponsored by the Western
Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics & Environmental
Education with funding from the Michigan Tech Sustainable Futures
Initiative and the Wege Foundation.
"Schools have submitted some very creative projects this year.
We are very excited to see so much enthusiasm among local youth and
their teachers," says Joan Chadde, coordinator of the Kids CAN
Make A Difference Earth Day Program. "The efforts of these students
will impact thousands in the western Upper Peninsula."
Each group that registered for the Earth Day Program will receive
a certificate in recognition of their accomplishments and a visit
from Western U.P. Center staff where they will present their projects.
Four groups will be selected to receive $300 towards an environmental
education field trip for their class.
In Baraga County, L’Anse Middle School sixth grade classes,
coordinated by teacher Randy Cadeau, will conduct a bottle and can
drive and purchase trees with their earnings. Teacher Janet Gerzetich’s
second grade classes will educate the public about bats by displaying
informative posters throughout the county. The Arvon School will work
with local foresters to reconstruct a nature trail behind their school
that will interpret the local ecology (interaction between plants
In Keweenaw County, the Copper Harbor School will be planting a
native plant garden to attract butterflies and birds.
In Gogebic County, the Washington Elementary 6th grade class will
research historic mining in the Upper Peninsula and investigate the
propose sulfide mine in Marquette County. Shari Nyquist’s 3rd
grade class at Washington Elementary will design posters with a conservation
message to place around their community. Teacher Kathy Makela’s
4th, 5th, and 6th grade science classes at Wakefield-Marinesco will
conduct a trash pick up of Sunday Lake in Wakefield. Mary Toomey’s
7th and 8th grade science classes at Wakefield-Marinesco are making
notepads from recycled paper, decorating grocery bags with an Earth
Day message, and encouraging their families to check for proper tire
inflation to ensure the best gas mileage.
"I like to have my students involved in this project to promote
greater awareness of how we all can do our part to maintain a healthy
environment and use resources more wisely," explains Mary Toomey,
a middle school science teacher at Wakefield-Marinesco.
In Houghton County, the Houghton Middle School classes taught Sara
Beiring, Deb Sage, and Bruce Belmas, will be conducting an innovative
“Its Cool to Carpool” day to raise their own awareness
and that of their parents and the community about the need to reduce
use of fossil fuels and also protect air quality. Students, faculty
and parents will be encouraged to share rides, walk, or bike to school
for one week. They will compare the numbers of miles traveled during
a typical week, to those traveled during the “test” week.
This will illustrate to students that their actions can make a difference!
Bridge High School students and their teacher Cathy Hill will continue
their efforts at Terrace Park in Hancock by constructing a butterfly
Lastly, Barkell Elementary third graders will challenge their classmates
to have a “Waste-Free Lunch” where very little food is
thrown away and very little or no garbage is thrown away. But first,
they’ll need to do some school-wide education by making posters,
sending home notes to parents, and visiting all classrooms and asking
them to participate. On the “Waste-Free Lunch” day, 3rd
grade students will monitor the lunchroom encouraging their classmates
to minimize waste.
"These projects are excellent examples of how students can help
make their communities better places to live. We are pleased to see
students’ and teachers’ commitment to caring for our environment!"
added Joan Chadde, education program coordinator for the Western Upper
Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics & Environmental Education.
“I am looking forward to visiting all of these classes.”
pdf files below