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2009 Toyota TAPESTRY Large Grant Awardees

:: 2009 Mini-Grant Awardees »

Physical Science Applications

Flying Ocean to Ocean on Dream Chaser—Reenactment of the First Transamerica Flight
Ronald Bowerman
St. Wendelin High School
533 N. Countyline Street
Fostoria OH 44830
419-435-8144
Ron.bowerman@stwendelin.org; bowerman@mail.findlay.edu

We cannot truly know where we are going until we know where we have been. By doing reverse technological archeology, we can develop skills that lead to future problem solving. When my students help build a Wright Flyer replica they and our student participants often ask, “How did they do that?” I want the students to ask, “How can I do that?” By using aviation, my physics students and others are learning problem solving skills that will help engineer their future. Due to my involvement with the non profit Wright Brothers Aeroplane Co., my students will build and test ribs for our next project "The Vin Fiz" and with the grant funds we will build the video chase plane for the reenactment flight in 2011. In 1911, Calbraith Perry Rodgers flew a Wright aircraft called the Vin Fiz across America, making the first crossing of this continent or any other.

Hydroponics Across the Curriculum
Jeffrey Bracken
Staff: Lyndsey Manzo, Kyle Campbell, Julie Chance, Susan Wasmund
Westerville North High School
950 County Line Road
Westerville OH 43081
614-797-6201
Bracken5@columbus.rr.com; brackenj@wcsoh.org

Our project will use hydroponic gardening techniques as a cutting-edge example of science in action to create a model science and math curriculum that could be replicated at schools across the United States. Over 1,500 high school students will participate in growing of international plants, herbs, vegetables, indigo, and hydrangeas. The focus of our hydroponics project is to grow “plants with a purpose” while investigating the chemistry and physical science applications that provide the basis for plant growth.

Microbial Warfare
Jean Fendrich
Lamberton Middle School
623 W. Penn Street
Carlisle PA 17013
717-240-6773
fendrich@comcast.net; fendrichj@carlisleschools.org

Apples are a big industry in our area being the fifth largest apple producer in the U.S. In this project students in 7 th and 8 th grade, with the assistance of Penn State’s Fruit Research Station, will investigate the anatomy and function of the apple tree from flower to fruit. Penn State will also guide us in planting apple trees on the school grounds so that our orchard will be a source of apples in the upcoming years. The students will conduct six tests on three varieties of apples to quantitatively measure and compare the sugar content, ripeness, and dehydration rates. Data will be collected and archived each year. The students will also discover the significance of the pasteurization process and press apple cider that will be pasteurized with heat and also with ultraviolet light to determine the effects of both processes on bacterial growth. Students will graph results of this experiment to determine whether ultraviolet light is an effective technique for long term storage of apple cider.

Electronics, Acoustics and One-String Guitars
Chuck Kremer
St. Luke’s Episcopal School
15 St. Luke’s Lane
San Antonio TX 78209
210-826-0664
ckremer@sles-sa.org; cckremer@gmail.com

Beginning in September 2009, twelve middle school students will participate in a one semester elective course entitled “The Science and Sound of Electric Guitars” which will be taught by an interdisciplinary team of dedicated faculty members including science, technology, and music teachers. During the course students will study basic electronic circuits, publish an online library of electronic components, build one-string electric guitars, learn to play the guitars, and teach the fundamental concepts of sound to younger students. Students will then perform as an ensemble at a school pep-rally.

“It’s Elementary My Dear Doctor Boson!”
Michael Lampert
Staff: Angie Little
West Salem High School
1776 Titan Drive
Salem OR 97304
503-399-5533
mlampert@aol.com; lampert_michael@salkeiz.k12.or.us

The anticipation of the discovery of the Higgs boson has left the physics community and media eagerly awaiting one of the greatest discoveries of this century. This Tapestry project seizes on this exciting moment, and brings the thrill of the hunt for the last unobserved particle of the Standard Model to high school students through the use of innovative physics lessons. Students will use scientific inquiry as they build a scale model of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. They will digitally capture muon trails in home built cloud chambers and they will construct cosmic ray detectors using scintillators and photomultiplier tubes. Students will take a field trip to the high mountains and deep caves of Oregon to measure cosmic ray flux as they apply statistical methods to record real particle counts. Finally, students will publish a journal of their experience and enter their project in local science competitions.

Making Earth Science More “Concrete”
Brian McDowell
Staff: Grant Felice
Mason County Middle School
420 Chenault Drive
Maysville KY 41056
606-564-6748
Brian.mcdowell@mason.kyschools.us

How do we know about the past? Some middle level students hold the view that the world has always been the way it is now. The related geological concepts are often too abstract for them to discern. Our project will assist middle level learners as they bridge the gap from “concrete” to abstract geologic concepts. Four separate learning stations, each using authentic, “concrete” simulations, including a stratigraphy column and a dinosaur trackway, will promote and enhance their understanding. Just as our students watch CSI investigators use their skills to solve crimes on television, our students will investigate with the same determination to solve the mysteries of the past.

From Field to Classroom, a Reduction in Fossil Fuel Useage with Creation of Biofuel
William McFall
Staff: Steve Braun
Troy Jr./ Sr. High School
101 Trojan Drive
Troy ID 83871
208-835-2361
Wildlife208@yahoo.com; bmcfall@sd287.k12.id.us

Concerns about rising fuel costs and usage are the hot-topic on the minds of all consumers today. Every person wants to know what the future will hold as fossil fuels rise worldwide. In order to reduce the need for fossil fuels, energy sources need to be developed to replace existing sources. One way that we are looking to change fuel consumption within the farming community is through seed oil crops that can be replaced every year. The seed oil crops will utilize available farm land to grow the energy we need for the entire farm. 80 students in agricultural science and chemistry will experience the hands on approach creating and blending various bio-fuels from such crops as soybeans, canola or rapeseed, and mustard seed for use in the Pacific Northwest. Students will determine the best growth rates and highest yields. The project will find alternatives to fossil fuels and bring new technology and scientific ideas into the classroom.

Exciting the Next Generation – Magnetic Resonance for Everyone
Dr. Reef (Philip D., II) Morse
Staff: Patty Giorgio
Steppingstone School for Gifted Education
28555 Middlebelt
Farmington Hills MI 48334
248-539-1666
reef@steppingstoneschool.org; reefmorse@scientific-software.com

The Steppingstone Magnetic Resonance Training (SMART) Center offers diverse opportunities to middle and high school students to practice science in a research atmosphere using advanced instrumentation. The SMART Center focuses on electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR) as the method of choice because it allows students to experience firsthand how spectroscopic processes can be used to obtain information at a molecular level. We propose to introduce students to EPR through an imaging experiment whereby students can determine the two-dimensional distribution of free radicals in a roasted coffee bean. Students will learn how to mount the sample, rotate the sample during data collection, how to apply back projection-reconstruction methods to obtain an image, and to present the data to a general audience. Students will design and build much of the instrumentation (power supply, imaging coils, goniometer stage to rotate the sample inside the magnetic field). Results will be presented at an international magnetic resonance conference. Once students have the experience of completing a project from start to finish, other projects will be presented to them. Several of these have potential medical, automotive, and engineering applications.

Classroom Microalgae Bioreactor for Making Biofuels
Dr. Teresa Petralli-Mallow
Staff: Daniel Savino, Leslie Gum, Prasad Gerard, Adolfas Gaigalas
Poolesville High School
17501 Willard Road
Poolesville MD 20837
301-972-7900
Teresa_Petralli-Mallow@mcpsmd.org; ktmallow@comcast.net

Alternative energy sources are of great interest to Poolesville High School students. Through a partnership with scientists at the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), Poolesville High School students will be trained in the construction and operation of a classroom Microalgae Bioreactor that will produce a biodiesel precursor. Once operational, students will design their own original scientific inquiries utilizing the classroom bioreactor.

The Chemistry of Art
Elizabeth Smallwood
Staff: Hannah Raiken Schulman, Nikki Ritchey, Richard Blane
Tapestry Charter School
2253 Main Street
Buffalo NY 14214
716-204-5883
easmallwood@roadrunner.com; smallwoode@tapestryschool.org

Students will have the opportunity to enroll in an unique high school chemistry class, a class that uses the practices of the art world to teach chemistry concepts.  It will be a hands-on, laboratory based class that works in conjunction with local Buffalo artists and industry.  The chemistry curriculum will be aligned with several projects including: electroplating art, gas fired ceramic glazes, making oil paints with a Behr Paints chemist, dying silk scarves, developing black and white photographs at CEPA and blowing glass with the glassmakers at Corning Museum of Glass.  It will include a project during which students will create a media to educate the community on the proper handling of paints and art supplies.  Students will also do restorative work on sculptures in the community working with Buffalo State College.

Looking for the Good in Food
David Trombold
Wichita Collegiate School
1221 N. Webb Road
Wichita KS 67206
316-634-0433
dtrombold@wcsks.com

Students will investigate nuts to nutrients in a research class. They will perform technical, scientific experiments using a high pressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC) as they study the content of nutrients in healthy food sources. As they develop their research skills they will also expand their personal awareness of nutritious foods. Their research will include a review of HPLC fundamentals and nutrition chemistry literature relative to Vitamins A, B, C, and E. They will then develop their technical procedural skills with UV-Vis and HPLC. Their results will be statistically evaluated and presented for peer review at their school, at the community and state level, and submitted for scientific journal publication.

Solar Energy Across Wisconsin
Don Vincent
Staff: Steve Bower
Madison West High School
30 Ash Street
Madison WI 53726
608-204-3180
dvincent@madisonk12.wi.us

Over 200 Earth Science students at two Wisconsin high schools will collect, analyze, and compare data to determine solar energy potential in their communities. They will formulate their own hypotheses, and plan and conduct their own investigations to answer the question, is solar energy feasible in Wisconsin? Using photometers, mini solar panels, and voltage meters, students will collect and share data establishing longitudinal comparisons. They will determine optimum tilt angle, experiment to discover how variables such as cloud cover, dust, snow cover, and relative humidity affect solar input, and calculate daily solar energy potential. Data will be collected at home, school and at various sites in their community to determine possible micro-scale variations. Future classes will continue to add baseline data to monitor solar energy’s feasibility.

Integrating Literacy and Science

Hands on Literacy: Integrating Science, Language and Literacy for Urban Deaf Students
Fiona Bennie
Staff: Alice Speights, Elizabeth Santucci
Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
40 Armington Street
Boston MA 02134
617-635-6379
fbennie@boston.k12.ma.us; gilmorepond@mac.com

This project integrates American Sign Language (ASL), up-to-date technology and innovative best practices to measurably improve the reading scores and scientific knowledge of Deaf and hard of hearing students at a Boston public school for the Deaf. This unique program for science and language literacy development features scientist-led, in-the-field experiential learning coupled with a cross-curricular comparative linguistics instructional approach. It will produce the first ever Deaf student-created Boston-based environmental field guide and classroom video blog, as well as science and language literacy-building vocabulary DVDs using ASL, English and print. For 60 Deaf middle school students at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf (HMS) Hands On will; increase language literacy (both English and ASL) and science literacy through using and creating word resources such as personal picture and ASL dictionaries, DVD vocabulary sets, science notebooks and video journals to produce a local field guide and a companion video blog featuring ASL with spoken English and print subtitles; improve science literacy, awareness and appreciation by bringing scientists from the Boston area into the field with middle school urban Deaf students to provide access to experts who serve as ambassadors of science and higher education; improve reading fluency and comprehension, build vocabulary and improve writing skills by purchasing appropriate trade books and ancillary texts; increase scientific literacy through experiential learning at rich geological and biological Boston area sites.

SKY HIGH: Bringing Students to New Heights
Chris Campbell
Staff: Cathi Cox, Boniface Mills
Simsboro High School
1 Tiger Drive
Simsboro LA 71275
318-247-6265
ccampbel@lincolnschools.org; soupwolf@bellsouth.net

SKY HIGH targets 7th and 8th grade students in a small, rural PreK-12 north Louisiana school and integrates the latest research on content literacy strategies with best practices in technology-driven science education. Collaboration among Science, Math, and Literacy Specialists will assure access to science content and a purpose for reading, writing, speaking, and listening that actively engages students and builds content literacy skills. Community and university partners in the project will provide professional development and technical advice for teachers and enhanced educational opportunities for students. Staff from Louisiana Tech’s NSF funded GK-12 program will assist with the development of lesson plans to accompany this project.

Destination Unknown
Karen Crow-Roark
Staff: Chris Harton, Nina Johnson, Pennie Lawson
Park Creek School 1500 Hale Bowen Drive, Dalton, GA 30721
706-428-7700
Karen.roark@dalton.k12.ga.us

Did you ever wonder about your most anciet ancestors? By participating in the Genographic Project our students will be introduced and will be able to explain the genetic journeys that bond their personal lineage over tens of thousands of years. Different populations carry distinct markers. By following them through the generations reveals a genetic tree on which today's many diverse branches may be followed even backward to their common African root. We will use the Children's Literature book: The Friar Who Grew Peas. We all know peas are nutritious, but students will be surprised to learn that peas played a key role in the discovery of genetics. Gregor Mendel, known as the Father of Genetics, used careful experiments with peas to discover how traits are passed down from parent to child. Science Fair Projects and Technology Power Points will finally have real personable meanings for our students. Their Power Point family projects will be show at family night on the CineBox Outdoor Theater System along with the Genetics Video Set. Science experiments stations will be set up for all family members to participate that night including Gummy Bear Genetics and Genetics with a Smile. Together we can tell the ancient story of our shared human journey to our classmates, our community, throughout Georgia and the world.

Rio Grande and Its Grand Importance
Michelle Estrada
Desert Hills Elementary
280 N. Roadrunner Pkwy.
Las Cruces NM 88011
575-527-9619
Michestr2002@yahoo.com; michestr@lcps.k12.mn.us

Kindergarten students will be researching the Rio Grande River through field experiences, hands-on activities, demonstrations by local scientists/ community educators, inquiry-based experiments, and also through a variety of cross-curricular studies. Some topics included in this year-long study will be animals of the Rio Grande, migratory birds of the Rio Grande, endangered species of the Rio Grande, food chains, comparing and contrasting river plants to desert plants, the water cycle, importance of water in the Rio Grande valley, and water conservation. Project WET (water education for teachers) will also be used as a supplemental resource. The culminating project will incorporate a student musical, demonstrations by local community educators, a student-created photography timeline, the sell of a student-created calendar (proceeds will benefit a non-profit organization affiliated with the Rio Grande), student led Power Point presentations, and displays documenting student learning.

“…the Microville Science Museumis is Coming…”
John Fortier
Staff: Megan McCarthy
MicroSociety Magnet School
19 Hallock Avenue New Haven, CT 06519
203-946-7761
johnfortier@comcast.net; john.fortier@new-haven.k12.ct.us

Students at Microsociety School will be creating an interactive Science Museum. Students will act as young scientists as they research, experiment, document and create science exhibits as well as act as docents in explaining them to other students and visitors to the museum. In addition all student citizens of Microville will develop goods made of recyclables to sell in the Museum's gift shop ... a great way of connecting scientific inquiry with real world economics! When the Museum is ready on Microville's Market Day, all Microville citizens will have the opportunity to interact with the different displays and experiments, and will have a chance to shop at the gift shop with their Microville money!

All Roads Lead to Rome: the Arts and Sciences of the Ancient World
Rose Gaines
Staff: Charles Koeniguer, Julie Huntsberger, Susan Richardson, Terri Linley
Indian River Charter High School
6055 College Lane
Vero Beach FL 32966
772-567-6600
Rose.gaines@irchsonline.org; gaines657@bellsouth.net

Indian River Charter High School students will research, design and create hands-on natural history exhibits for elementary students to experience the arts and sciences of the Ancient World. The “museum” will operate for three days in the Fall Semester of 2009 and will be staffed by students who will impersonate the famous philosophers of Classical Greece and Rome, Ancient China and India, and the astronomers and mathematicians of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Elementary-aged students will perform experiments and do activities that illustrate important basics established by the first practitioners of science and civilized arts. These experiments and activities will be supervised by the high school students who have presented the most outstanding research projects to an audience of their peers and teachers; the projects will have been selected as the best work at our school.

A Day at the Beach
Jodie Harnden
Staff: Chris Schulze, Chris Ferguson, Jim Davis
Sunridge Middle School
700 SW Runnion
Pendleton OR 97801
541-276-4560
jharnden@pendleton.k12.or.us; jharndend@hotmail.com

An investigation of physical, biological and climatological aspects of oceanography will be combined with literature to inspire students in their studies. Students will select reading materials that include classics and non-fiction selections related to oceanography for use in language arts classes. Oceanography will be a year-long elective course offered to interested students. Many activities will be tested there and later used in regular science courses. A model wave tank will be built for experiments and a salt water aquarium will be set up in the classroom for observation. A culminating field trip will take place, visiting Oregon State University, tide pools and maritime museums, along with a day at the beach.

FIT 4 HAWKS—Fun Integrating Trikkes 4 Healthy Attitudes—Winning Kids
Leigh Harrison
Staff: Lisa Norton, Deborah Carpenter, Latoya Pugh
J.E. Williams K-8 School
155 Barren Fork Road
Huntsville AL 35824
256-428-7540
lharrison@knology.net; lharrison@hsv.k12.al.us

Reducing the rate of overweight and obese adolescents is currently a national health priority. Our middle school students will conduct scientific research to develop a school-wide fitness program to include exercise, healthy eating, and weight maintenance. They will use the life-long literacy skills of persuasive writing and speaking and multimedia design to promote the program. Trikkes™, three-wheeled human-powered vehicles, will be used in their physical education classes as a motivating aspect of the program. We believe that the Fit4Hawks program will have a lasting positive impact on the lives of our students and society as a whole.

To the MACS: Mastering the Art of Communication in Science
Carla Johnson
Staff: Roberta Dias, Thomas Durham, Deborah Pasley, Deborah Siebern-Dennis
Bode Middle School
720 North Noyes Boulevard Saint Joseph, MO 64501
816-671-4473
Carla.johnson@sjsd.k12.mo.us; gadien_girl@yahoo.com

Students will be transported beyond the inquiry-based science classroom into the 21 st century digital world of science investigations as they learn to communicate as budding scientists. Students will read non-fiction books and journals, make connections with hands-on investigations, and utilize a website to post videos, publish results, and blog with each other and professors about their learning.

Discovering Energy in the da Vinci Zone
Patricia Lyons
Staff: Sandra Krott
Westfield Friends School
2201 Riverton Road
Cinnaminson, NJ 08077
856-829-0895
plyons@westfieldfriends.org; patlyons34@hotmail.com

Through partnered reading and writing activities, and hands-on experiences, 3rd and 5th grade ‘science buddies’ will learn together about the interchangeability of energy by exploring the work of Leonardo da Vinci. Students will become immersed in da Vinci’s work as a naturalist, scientist, inventor, and engineer while taking nature walks, keeping a writing and sketch journal, and building their own solar, wind and chemically powered cars. They will make comparisons between the current work of scientists and the observations and inferences da Vinci made in his lifetime. Using digital microscopes students will further their scientific reasoning by exploring the living world at the microscopic level. University engineering students will serve as mentors in the design and construction of an elastic energy powered K’nex car, in preparation for an energy rally at the end of the year. At this culminating event students will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their investigations for the school community. These interactions in literacy–based science and math activities will bring Leonardo da Vinci’s life into sharper focus, as an awareness of diverse forms and uses of energy is fostered, and environmentally responsible attitudes are cultivated. 

Educating Sustainability and Social Responsibility through P.K. Younge’s Community Garden and Farmers Market
Michelina MacDonald
Staff: Jennifer Cheveallier
P.K. Yonge, DRS
1080 SW 11th Street
Gainesville, FL 32601
352-392-1554
mmacdonald@pky.ufl.edu; mickmacd@gmail.com

Ninth grade Biology students will research plant growth and development and the role gardening plays in sustainability. Groups of 2-3 students will be responsible for cultivating, maintaining and harvesting sixteen square feet of garden using the square-foot gardening technique.  Every student will collect data in a field journal, utilize a class wiki to discuss their learning with their peers and experts in agronomy, and use digital video and pictures to chronicle their experiences throughout the year.  As students care for their gardens, they will develop a marketing campaign to advertise P.K. Yonge’s Community Garden and Farmers’ Market in which vegetables, herbs and bedding plants will be sold to the P.K. Yonge Community after school. To instill community outreach and social responsibility among our students, the proceeds from the Farmers’ Market will support St. Francis House, a local homeless shelter. As students execute P.K. Yonge’s plant industry, they will visit the homeless shelter and interview a homeless person or family. Using these interviews, students will compile a book of essays, “Giving Voice to the Homeless” that will become part of the student generated documentary of the year’s project.

Inspiring Science Literacy with Ocean Awareness Festivals
Charlene Mauro
Staff: M’Adele Carson
Navarre High School
8600 High School Blvd.
Navarre FL 32566
850-936-6080
mauroc@mail.santarosa.k12.fl.us; hkitee05@yahoo.com

This project will actively involve high school students teaching elementary school children using student-created, student-led Ocean Awareness Festivals. Topics taught at the festival will focus on the Gulf of Mexico watershed and environmental issues facing the area such as fisheries management, marine debris, hypoxia, artificial reefs, ocean exploration, invasive species, sea turtle and manatee conservation. The festivals will take place at the newly acquired Navarre Beach Marine Science Station. Approximately 800 elementary students and 100 high school students will participate in this project over the 2009-2010 school year.

L.A.S.E.R. Tubs
Jessica Scheller
Staff: Janet Roberts
Bethune Academy
2500 South Victory
Houston TX 77088
281-878-0380
jbscheller@aldine.k12.tx.us; jesbarth@yahoo.com

LASER tubs are resource-filled containers developed by an elementary science specialist and a school librarian. LASERs enable teachers and students to focus on one science concept at a time. Offering resources appropriate for more than one grade, they provide teachers from all content areas choices for focusing on particular learning modalities and needs. LASERs invite integration of science and literacy and abet consistency in the school’s instruction. Professional development on vocabulary development, effective teaching strategies and integrating science across the content areas will be provided for all content teachers and is an integral part of the project.

Literacy with Plants from the “Backbone of the World,” Botany in Blackfeet
Brian Suttle
Staff: Greg Klauk, Nikki Hannon, Jason Andreas
Blackfeet Learning Academy
PO Box 610
Browning MT 59417
406-338-4379
gregk@bps.k12.mt.us; brians@bps.k12.mt.us

In a variety of classroom and field study settings students will learn and work to research, identify and catalog an assortment of the native and nonnative flora that exists in their local environment; identifying invasive plant species in the area. They will also learn and document any of the ethno-botany aspects, from traditional Blackfeet uses and knowledge, of any plants cataloged in their research and field studies. This will culminate with the development and eventual publishing of a first volume of native and nonnative plant species, from sections of the Blackfeet Reservation and Glacier National Park.

Skagit Watershed—Salmon, Forests and Man
Linda Talman
Staff: Nancy Riches, Vince Hughes, Nancy Hinton
Conway School
19710 State Route 534
Mount Vernon WA 98274
360-445-5785
linda.talman@gmail.com; ltalman@conway.k12.wa.us

Students in seventh grade embark on a course of study about local streams, forests, wildlife, and the effects of human activities.  Set on the edge the verdant Skagit Valley, overlooking farmland and at the beginning of the foothills to the Cascades, Conway School represents the perfect place of study - where uses intersect, where cultural values are often tied to the place and sometimes not visible to students, and where they can, most often, step outside their home and find a salmon stream, a forest, migrating birds, a farm, or a development.  Students choose one place to study for the year.  They will document that place with cameras and scientific data collection, observing that place over time enhancing their learning through our partnerships. In literacy, they will learn about field guides, analyze news articles for purpose (persuasive, informative) and bias, write in various modes. In the end, they will create an electronic project to show their learning.

Environmental Science Education

The Abiotic Influence on the Abundance and Distribution of Macroinvertebrates in an Abandoned Field and Mixed Hardwood Forest
Leonard Bacon
Staff: Jennifer Gold, Jef Smith
Maple Hill High School
1216 Maple Hill Road
Castleton NY 12302
518-732-7701
lbacon@schodack.k12.ny.us; lbacon@nycap.rr.com

Our students will be studying local macroinvertebrate population sizes and distributions, with the ultimate goal of establishing a population index which can serve as an early warning system for environmental change. Earth Science students will use GPS and GIS technology to create maps of survey sites. Biology students will count and categorize macroinvertebrates. Chemistry students will measure various abiotic site conditions. Senior biology students will act as team leaders, collect and organize data, conduct experimentation on selected invertebrates and present the project findings to our school and our community.

A Study of Mycorrhizal and Saprophytic Fungi in Washington County and the Surrounding Areas and Their Role in Forest Ecosystems
Ophelia Barizo
Highland View Academy
10100 Academy Drive
Hagerstown MD 21740
301-739-8480
OMBarizo@aol.com; obarizo@highlandviewacademy.com

Students will study saprophytic and mycorrhizal mushrooms in Washington County, MD and the surrounding areas. They will learn how to use characteristics such as habitat, appearance, and microscopic features to identify species. They will investigate the various roles fungi play in forest ecosystems and in our lives. Topics for projects include: edible mushrooms, poisonous mushrooms, fungi used in medicine, mycoremediation of the environment, mycofiltration of water, the role of fungi in conservation, and other relevant subjects. Students will participate in guided forays and workshops to collect (for scientific study),photograph,and identify various fungi under the tutelage of experts in mycology. They will inoculate certain forest areas with mushroom mycelia to facilitate growth and renewal. Based on what they learn students will develop a website featuring the project and produce a pamphlet entitled “Wild Mushrooms of Washington County, MD and Surrounding Areas.”

Demonstration Green Roof Project
Wallace Black
Staff: Beverly Templeton
Pine View School
1 Python Path
Osprey FL 34229
941-486-2001
Wallace_black@sarasota.k12.fl.us

Pine View AP Environmental Science students will help build 10 4'x8' green roof experimental tables. Pine View students in grades 6-12 will then have the opportunity to design and carry out authentic research on the best types of native plants, substrates, and potting media for use in green roof design for Southwest Florida. Since none of these parameters has been determined specifically for Southwest Florida, the results will be used to help the school district plan new buildings that meet LEED standards.

Science Partners-in-Pride Eastern Bluebird Population Study
Mary Chmielecki
Staff: Norman Smith, Kelly Shevlin, Andrew Platt, Michael Ganshirt
Qualters Middle School
240 East Street
Mansfield MA 02048
508-261-7530
mary.chmielecki@mansfieldschools.com; mary.chmielecki@verizon.net

Third, eighth and high school student partners work together to investigate the population fluxuations of the Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis. Students will build and monitor a study area 100 nests boxes long. Students will band young and adult birds and collect external parasite data. In addition to student generated investigative questions, each grade level of student has a “model” focus question. Third grade students will compare insect populations near the nest boxes to nest box success. Eighth graders will measure and compare nest box success of boxes in different locations. High School student will investigate the effects of different external bird parasites on nest box success. Upon conclusion of these studies all students will share data and conclusions at an “Eastern Bluebird Symposium” to be hosted by our high school students.

Reclaiming Fern Hill: A Sandy Valley Elementary/Huff Run Watershed Cooperative Education Initiative
Heather Covert
Sandy Valley Elementary School
5018 State Route 183 NE
Magnolia OH 44643
330-866-9225
Hxc04sv@cardnet.stark.k12.oh.us; bdylan225@aol.com

The fifth grade students will have the opportunity to learn, explore and participate in an environmental reclamation program in their community. The project focuses on an area of the Huff Run Watershed called Fern Hill. Fern Hill and its wildlife habitat have been severely impacted by previous mining activities. This area has recently been reclaimed. The students will work with varies non profit and governmental agencies, including the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Forestry to plant 1,000 trees on the site and restore it to its natural forest state. The students will explore: the concept of reclamation; the history of local mining areas; the origins and consequences of acid mine drainage; and benefits and variables of planting trees to reforest the Fern Hill site.

Reducing Our Nation’s Dependency on Fossil Fuels
Sam Crane
Staff: Craig Stegner, Rob Taylor
Middle Park High School
795 North 2nd Street ( PO Box 130)
Granby CO 80446
970-887-2104
scrane@egsd.org

Students will increase their understanding of the economic and environmental benefits of alternative energy systems, and they will work to develop such a system at our school. Middle Park High School Students will research the science involved in photovoltaic and wind power renewable energy systems. They will select the most cost effective system and write an RFP (Request For Proposal) to vendors for a 4-kilowatt or smaller renewable energy system. After consultation with Mountain Parks Electric, they will select the most suitable site for the renewable energy system on school grounds, and oversee the construction of the system as well as connection of the system to the local power grid. Students will estimate annual electric production and carbon offsets for the system and compare it to actual production. They will monitor and report on the system's energy output, and report this to the local newspaper as well as to Mountain Parks Electric. Throughout the process, they will develop a better understanding of the benefits and potential that renewable energy has for our future.

The Wolbachia Project
Brian Dempsey
Staff: Yuan Kang
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
36 Charter Road
Acton MA 01720
978-264-4700
bdempsey@mail.ab.mec.edu

Ecology, molecular biology, and evolution are not usually integrated within a high school biology class. In this project, students will go outside to collect insects, bring them back to the lab and discover if their specimens are infected with intracellular bacteria called Wolbachia. These parasites skew certain arthropod populations toward female since they only reproduce in the host’s eggs. As one consequence, reproductive isolation among effected populations might result in the evolution of new species. Students will extract DNA from their insects and sequence its genetic material for the purpose of identifying parasitized individuals, actively using modern molecular biology techniques. This data will be shared with scientists from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA. Researchers from the MBL then upload the genetic code so students can make family trees using computer programs. This analysis may enable them to infer how Wolbachia was transmitted to the insects and visualize evolutionary patterns associated with infection.

Aeropponics in Space
Remy Dou
Miami Christian School
200 NW 109 Avenue
Miami FL 33172
305-221-7754
remy_reborn@yahoo.com; douremy@gmail.com

The field of aeroponics is fresh, and contains the potential for future improvements and development. Students that participate in the program will learn the methods and techniques involved in the growing of aeroponic gardens. In addition, they will be divided into teams in order to make improvements to commercial nutrient mist solutions, as well as design and build space-worthy, self-sustaining, aeroponic growth stations. Fieldtrips and discussions with experts will enhance their ability to adequately achieve these goals. Ultimately, students will experience the connection between themselves, their community, and their surroundings as they create and implement related environmental projects to help their local and international communities.

Monitoring Wisconsin’s Small Mammals
Daniel Fenske
Northland Lutheran High School
2107 Tower Road
Mosinee WI 54455
715-359-3400
dfenske@nlhs.org; fenskedl@yahoo.com

The students of Northland Lutheran High School monitor Wisconsin’s native small mammals (mice, shrews, voles, etc) via trapping and habitat study. The students are supervised by a research scientist from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Students research the habits and habitats of these small mammals and capture specimens. All capture data is logged, processed in a database, and imported into a Geographic Information System for analysis. Students will use GPS receivers to map capture sites, specimen locations and habitats. This data is also entered into the GIS software. Using GIS, the students can use inquiry to determine the health of these small mammals and relate habitat to each species. The data and specimens are used by the Wisconsin DNR in their monitoring of Wisconsin’s small mammals.

From the Scum of the Earth to Green Crude
Nelene Harris
Staff: Charles Carozza, Lisa Butler
Fouke High School
403 Panther Drive
Fouke AR 71837
870-653-4551
nharri@fouke.swsc.k12.ar.us

Students from a rural southwest Arkansas farming community will turn their science classrooms into a small-scale biodiesel factory to learn how a simple organism, like algae, can be used as an alternative energy source. This project changes the traditional role of students from passive learners to active researchers as they build algae bioreactors, maintain algae growth tanks, extract and separate the oils from the algae Our community’s perception of pond scum will be changed forever as they realize algae can provide a desirable product—green crude.

Bernards Bees
Laura Holborow
Staff: Kay Lee Collins, Andrew Hudson
Bernards High School
25 Olcott Lane
Bernardsville NJ 07924
908-630-3000
lholborow@shsd.org; ljholborow@gmail.com

During the last few years, honeybee populations have drastically decreased, creating a nationwide crisis. Our delicate ecosystem and our food supply have already been affected by this crisis. New Jersey is home to 10,000 bee colonies that produce nearly $200 million worth of fruits and vegetables annually, according to the Department of Agriculture. It is crucial that young people probe into the causes of these precipitous declines and take interest in beekeeping to protect the remaining bee population in New Jersey and propagate new generations of bees. Through the Bernards Bees project, students will create a thriving bee colony in our school courtyard and concomitantly conduct a comprehensive study of bees, with a focus on topics such as their life cycles, social structures, communication, pollination, and their role in sustaining life on our planet. Students will learn how humans are critically connected to honeybees, what impact our actions have on their health and survival, what factors have contributed to the rapid decline of the bee population, and what role bees play within our ecosystem. Students will collect data on bee communication and analyze the data (with the assistance of math classes) to reach conclusions on what threats to bees exist in New Jersey and what can be done to encourage their survival.

Shiitake Science: An Exploration of Gourmet Mycological Ecology and Art
Richard Huey
Staff: Stephen Shingler, Patrick Fitzpatrick
St. David’s School
3400 White Oak Road
Raleigh NC 27609
919-782-3331
rhuey@sdsw.org

Shiitake Science captures the attention of science students and integrates science and art in meaningful ways. Valuable and strikingly visual lessons in recycling, and the role fungi and insects play in this process will provide a window on a specific section of ecology. Students will learn both fungal and insect anatomy and taxonomy by way of dichotomous keys and stereoscopes. Proper collecting, preservation, mounting and labeling techniques will be taught. Visual art students will be introduced to the art of scientific line drawing and labeling.

Growing Our Own Fuel, Hawaiian Style
Dr. Kathleen Ireland
Staff:Sheri Garcia, Gilson Kilhour, Martin Emde, Evelyn Lacanienta
Seabury Hall
480 Olinda Road
Makawao HI 96768
808-572-7235
kireland@seaburyhall.org; kaireland@hawaii.rr.com

Maui has one of the highest fuel costs in the nation, making the need for alternative fuels an issue the students are intimately familiar with. Seabury students have two alternative oil options right in their area. Kukui nuts are high in oil, and therefore a potential source of alternative energy. Additionally, the University of Hawaii has donated plants that produce extremely oily seeds. Freshman will be planting these oil-producing seedlings, monitoring the optimum growing conditions. The freshman will also locate via GPS mature kukui nut trees in the locale of the school. The microenvironmental conditions of each tree will be recorded, nuts will be harvested, and the oil pressed from them. The freshman will then turn their oil and accompanying environmental data over to the sophomore class. The sophomores will run calorimic tests on the oils, reporting the correlation between yield and environmental conditions. The oils will then be given to the senior Engineering and AP Environmental Science classes. These two classes will use the oil to run a modified combustion engine, and study the emissions of that engine. A final report tallying data from all four classes will be compiled by the seniors and presented to the school. The project will continue into future years, including the oil from the UH plants as they mature.

SOAR (Summer of Action Research)
John Johnson
Staff: Homer White Lance, Jackie Robideaux, Susan Johnson
St. Francis Indian School
Box 379
St. Francis SD 57572
605-747-2298
Jtj13bio@yahoo.com

We empower students with a hands-on learning project in the unique environment of Yellowstone National Park. The primary purpose of the program is to enhance student knowledge of scientific research. Students use scientific inquiry and higher level thinking skills, as well as specialized scientific tools and technology during this process. The secondary purpose of the program is for students to develop chemical, physical, and biological profiles of designated streams in YNP. Students work in teams to gather stream data and develop stream history for park officials to determine declining aquatic life. Students analyze and compare data as they develop their annual presentation to YNP officials. This project-based program has enhanced student leadership skills and also introduced students to an array of career opportunities in science. Park officials use this data to assist in evaluating and managing these streams. Adults facilitating the program have no active role in the data collection, analysis, or presentation to park officials other then to facilitate. Students from different schools are allowed to participate in the program.

How playing with Algae Can Help Protect and Preserve Maui’s Marine Ecosystems
Daniel Kuhar
Kihei Charter School
300 Ohukai Rd., Suite 209
Kihei HI 96753
808-875-0700
Dkuhar_kiheihs@yahoo.com; dkuhar@kcsohana.com

Kihei Charter School has partnered with NOAA to attempt to solve our statewide invasive algae problem. Students will participate in authentic field based scientific research, working alongside NOAA scientists, to collect and analyze relevant data. KCS students understand that it takes an entire village to solve our most pressing environmental issues (or, in our case, an island!); therefore, they will utilize their data to develop educational resources and informative presentations in order to raise public awareness of the issue and to engage community members in the prevention and problem solving of this issue. Students will be helping to solve a statewide problem that currently has no long term solution, and they will gain an appreciation for how science is applied in the real world to help solve problems.

Development of Nutritional and Reproductive Requirements for Sea Urchins and White Shrimp
Troy Latham
Staff: Frank Doan, Brenda Brazile
C.F. Vigor High School
913 N. Wilson Avenue
Prichard AL 36610
251-221-3045
telatham@mcpss.com

Students must research and understand the reproductive process and anatomy of sea urchins. Students will collect sperm and eggs for fertilization which will be used to follow the developmental process of urchins and observe their embryological development. Feed requirements will be researched to find ways to increase fecundity which will make the culture of urchins economically feasible. In addition, the students will experiment with raising white shrimp in combination with urchins to test the possibility of a decrease in feed requirements for shrimp in mariculture.

Young Parabotanists: Scientifically Recording Floristic Diversity in Unexplored Regions of San Diego County and the Search for New Species
Marie Meek
Dehesa Charter School
1441 Montiel Road, Suite 143
Escondido CA 92026
760-743-7880
mmeek@dehesacharterschool.org; quercusgarryana@hotmail.com

Students, in partnership with the San Diego Natural History Museum, will be trained as Young Parabotanists and will record plant species and their microclimate conditions in areas of San Diego County that have yet to have their floristic diversity scientifically documented. Students will learn not only what species exist in these areas, but also what environmental factors are necessary for their survival. Using digital handheld data collection and measurement equipment, students will record the exact latitudinal and longitudinal location of each species and take measurements of the environmental conditions of each including temperature, UV and visible light levels, and wind speed. They will enter this data in a software database to create a map with multiple layers of data (plant location, microclimate and light level data). A field guide complete with photographs will culminate the project.

Filming Ecology: The Use of Video Software to Analyze the Relationships Between Native and Non-Native Animal Species
Jason Niedermeyer
South Salem High School
1910 Church Street, SE
Salem OR 97302
503-399-3252
niedermeyer_jason@salkeiz.k12.or.us; niedichey1@msn.com

As a part of this project, students will have the opportunity to film the behavior of three organisms that, though they occupy very similar niches, have come to the Willamette valley in very different ways. By filming the behaviors of the introduced eastern gray squirrel, the colonizing western scrub jay and the indigenous California ground squirrel as they compete both inter and intraspecifically for the limited resources of an urban park, the students will provide a lens through which to view the effects of introduced species and habitat conversion/destruction. The students will then analyze their collected videos using behavior analysis software which will allow them to correlate circumstance with behavior, enabling them to conduct field observations and experiments both on their own and in coordination with undergraduate students from Willamette University. Their collected information will be presented to the public in a poster session in hopes that it will help create a scientific community in and around Salem.

Project videos:

Eastern Gray Squirrel video ethogram:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyi--xU7wno

California Ground Squirrel video ethogram:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WkoQ1fs4NQ

Students conducting research in the field:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFo5n84kl6g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUoFXQFEpdI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZqsZL0a23I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgb8CMYUkeI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39fKROHKhjI

Central Campus Marine Biology Mariculture Project
Karen Stiles
Central Campus
1800 Grand Avenue
Des Moines IA 50309
515-242-7598
karenstiles@mchsi.com; karenstiles@dmps.k12.ia.us

Students will focus on solving specific problems related to the captive breeding of reef fish and invertebrates and demonstrate the feasibility of a productive marine aquaculture or mariculture enterprise. Students will be able to show how the aquarium industry can reduce its dependence on wild caught marine species which now account for over 60% of all aquarium stocks. This ongoing program will give students an opportunity to do real research, make real discoveries and have an impact on preserving and protecting marine life in the real world.

Kids for Native Plant Awareness and Propogation
Meredith Sullivan
Staff: Denise Lessow, Elizabeth Bohuski
Pinnacle School
2427 E. 2nd Street
Bloomington IN 47401
812-339-8141
msullivan@pinnaceschool.org; info@pinnacleschool.org

The loss of native habitat and plant species, competition by exotic plants, and the widespread use of non-native landscaping materials threaten local habitats. In a year-long process, students at Pinnacle School will identify, study, and compare the most common invasive species at school, at a local forest habitat, and at home, to determine the biological characteristics that give invasive plants a competitive advantage. Interdisciplinary class teams will work together with local scientists and community partners to study native plant species, complete field studies, remove invasive exotics, and monitor the results. They will also plan and create a mini-prairie for the school grounds, and propagate native plants in experimental conditions. A dedicated web site will track progress and provide links to sources of native plant materials and habitat resources.

The Return of Apex Predators to Northeastern Ohio
Michael Sustin
Staff: Scott Hill
West Geauga High School
13401 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland OH 44026
440-729-5900
mike.sustin@westg.org; mbs1k9@sbcglobal.net

This project proposes to research and document the permanent residency of Bobcats and Black bears in three Northeastern Ohio counties and investigate methods of managing for them. It will offer students the opportunity to use real scientific inquiry skills and technology to make a difference in statewide management goals and strategies, and to raise awareness and respect for successful conservation efforts. Students will interpret topographic maps and Geographic Information System technology to identify and evaluate potential habitat to use in the study. Students will emplace cutting-edge remote sensing and imaging technology to capture visual evidence of the target species without unnecessary human intrusion. Students will then be challenged to investigate, evaluate and select innovative, effective and efficient wildlife and land management strategies that will promote continued success of Bobcats in Black bears in the study area. Finally, students will be empowered to realize their own efficacy by publishing and presenting their research findings to supporting agencies and in community forums through printed and electronic media.

Soil Compostition and Resulting Lyopene and Vitamin C Content of Heirloom Tomatoes
Dr. Jody Vogelzang
Staff: Heather Lytle
Liberty Christian School
1301 S. Hwy 377
Argyle TX 76226
940-290-2000
vogelzangj@libertychristian.com; jovord@charter.net

Students use three different soils and a hydroponic system in growing Heirloom Tomatoes. Soil and growing medium are analyzed for pH, moisture, and inorganics and the fruit is assayed for the antioxidant lycopene and Vitamin C. The hypothesis is that the antioxidants in the tomatoes will be effected based on the soil composition allowing a conclusion on what soil type results in the greatest nutrient density.

Sunflowers: Simply Following the Sun? Or Leading Mankind to Environmental Solutions?
Michelle Yates
Staff: Terry Snow, Susan Stirewalt, Sandy Dempsy
Coder Elementary
12 Vernon Road
Aledo TX 76008
817-441-5135
myates@aledo.k12.tx.us; micadoo31@yahoo.com

Through the use of native Texas sunflowers and hydroponic gardening, students will explore the impact that sunflowers have on the water quality in our area lakes and rivers. Using information gathered from research, guest speakers, and field trips students will design and conduct experiments on the sunflowers. While the lower elementary students will be studying the sunflower and how it grows, our upper elementary students will plant and grow sunflowers through hydroponics. They will then test three different water samples from area lakes and rivers and measure any change in nitrate and phosphate levels once sunflowers are growing in these samples. Meanwhile, the middle school students will be testing three different species of sunflowers to determine which one has the greatest affect on the water quality. Students will be corresponding with scientists that work in state as well as national laboratories through blogs on a student created website. Students will record their findings by creating picture books that will be shared with other area schools.