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2009 Toyota TAPESTRY Mini-Grant Awardees

:: 2009 Large Grant Awardees »

From Generation to Generation: Oral Histories of Science from the 20th Century
Integrating Literacy and Science
Mindy Bedrossian
Strongsville High School
20025 Lunn Road
Strongsville OH 44149
440-572-7100
minjane@aol.com; bedrossian@strongnet.org
Project Website

The years from 1900 to 1999 saw the most dramatic changes in the history of mankind in science, technology, warfare, transportation, and health. From horses to the space shuttle, slide rules to computers, leeches to chemotherapy, and from libraries to the Internet, the advances of this past century has changed society forever. Students will visit the elderly and record their stories about what life was like before antibiotics, refrigeration, chemotherapy, and computers. These very important primary sources will soon be gone, and their testimonies of how life drastically changed for them will soon disappear forever. Students will then create pod casts of these interviews, developing a permanent audio collection of primary sources for future generations.

Electric Car Challenge
Physical Science
Brian Benz
Point Loma High School
2335 Chatsworth Blvd.
San Diego CA 92106
619-223-3121
bbenz@sandi.net; renebrian@aol.com

In the ‘Electric Car Challenge’ students are engaged in discovery and competition by constructing and racing a small electric vehicle built from a supplied kit of basic components including wheels, axles, 3V DC motor, battery pack, switch, paint stick, straw, wire, motor mount and batteries. Constructed vehicles are raced on a 15-foot long, laser-timed track. During the construction, elements of DC circuitry, mass, balanced forces, friction and aerodynamics need to be addressed. In the racing of the vehicles students investigate the effects of voltage, gear ratios, mass, normal force and friction on the performance. Students get practical experience determining average speed, acceleration and net forces as well as producing graphs of related data. Students are allowed to personalize the body of the car and keep their car after racing is completed which helps with the buy in of the project. This project allows students who may not be the best test takers to be evaluated in a unique way and also gives opportunities for easy differentiation for varying student skill levels. The three fastest cars from each period are invited to the all school final where they compete for the much-coveted Newton head championship trophy.

ZOOM! Using Robotics to Increase Technology and Engineering Achievement in West Virginia Schools
Physical Science
Ann Burns
Staff: Kathy Jacquez
Fairmont Senior High School
Loop Park
Fairmont WV 26554
304-367-2150
Burnsfarm1@gmail.com; burnsfarm5@msn.com

High school students will design and program a robot to assist in an environmental cleanup task. The project will include designing and building the robot, testing the program to perform a task (retreiving a sample of a "toxic" substance from an environmental spill) and rewriting the program as needed to improve the robot's performance. Students will take what they've learned to local middle schools to demonstrate robotics to younger students who will participate in the project the following year.

Endocrine Disruptors in Aquatic Ecosystems
Environmental Science
Kevin Burns
Cherry Creek High School
9300 E. Union Avenue
Greenwood Village CO 80104
720-554-2472
Kburns3@cherrycreekschools.org; kburns@mines.edu

Vitellogenin (Vtg) is an egg yolk precursor gene expressed only in female fish and is normally dormant in male fish. However, when male fish are exposed to Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs), the Vtg gene is expressed in a dose dependent manner in males. Hence, Vtg gene expression in male fish has been used as a molecular marker of exposure to estrogenic EDCs. Students will conduct exposure-monitoring studies by raising male fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) in local environmental waters and attempt to demonstrate viable quantification of EDC exposure using real time reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-QPCR) technology in cooperation with the U.S. EPA Region 8 laboratory.

Winds of Change: Mold Contamination Three Years After Hurricane Katrina
Environmental Science
Suzette Burton
Staff: Jack Cordray, Austin Daugherty
Hancock High School
7084 Stennis Airport Drive
Kiln MS 39556
228-467-2251
suzburton@aol.com; sburton@hancock.k12.ms.us

On August 29, 2005, the lives of Mississippi Gulf Coast families were changed by the winds of Hurricane Katrina. The community and school are dealing with the recovery on a daily basis. Recovery will be a long process with many issues and concerns. To heal students need to have a role in the recovery process. Water quality was the first issue students addressed by testing stream quality. Several grants, including a large grant from this source, have provided funding for the water quality testing. Now many residence of the area are encountering respiratory problems. Students want to know if this is caused by the effects of the hurricane including the clean-up of molded debris. This concern was brought to increased awareness by recent investigative reports on the local television station. Symptoms of mold infestation include feeling sluggish, headaches and nose bleeds. This project would expand the existing program to include air quality. Using electronic probes students will test, monthly, the air quality on the school grounds and at homes in different communities including those hardest hit.

Everything Changes
Integrating Literacy and Science
Terri Cloyde
Madill Elementary School
701 W. Tishomingo Street
Madill OK 73446
580-795-3680
tcloyde@madillok.com; tcloyde@sbcglobal.net

Students will set up a Life-Cycle Teaching Center to study the changes that occur in insects from birth to death. These changes include their physical appearance, life style, habitats, food, prey and predators. On display will be habitats of ladybugs, praying mantises, ants, and butterfly larvae for the entire elementary school to observe. Models, photos, power points and verbal information will also be available and each class that goes through the life-cycle center will receive their own habitat and inquiry based lesson plans for their teacher.

Science Exploration in the Literacy Workstation
Integrating Literacy and Science
Bonnie Cumbo
Oakland Elementary
151 Mudd Creek Road
Inman SC 29349
864-814-3870
bonnie.cumbo@spartanburg.k12.sc.us; boncumbo@aol.com

Science is such an important subject in education. However, our teachers are finding more and more that they are unable to fit all subjects into their day, especially in grades kindergarten through second grade. In an effort to make science an important part of our student's learning experience, we want to integrate science into our literacy workstations. In the science literacy workstation, students will explore science through multiple intelligences and learning styles. They can explore science topics through good literature, science models and materials, and guided support by their teacher.

Influence of the Displacement of the Land Snail Nenia Tridens on the Photosynthesis Rate of its Simbiotic Partner the Cynobacteria Chrococcus sp., Living as a Biofilm Over its Shell
Environmental Science
Dr. Julio De Jesus
Staff: Gabriel Enrique, Luz Rivera
Intellexi-PRBAHS
PO Box 418
Gurabo PR 00778
787-216-8115
julitoscoqui@yahoo.com

The aim of this project will be to collect the necessary data to elucidate questions related to the physiology of photosynthesis in the mutualistic symbiont Chrococcus sp. This symbiont is a cyanobacteria living as a biofilm covering the shell of the land snail Nenia tridens. Nenia is an endemic tree dweling snail (dendroic) and limited in distribution to high altitude forest areas at the eastern part of the Island. Its green color is due to the biofilm which give them camouflage. The main question to be answered by the proposed research is how photosynthesis rate is influenced by the location of the snail in the forest. It is hypothesized that as the snails change location thought its habitat, the quality of light would also changes having effects on the physiology of photosynthesis. Given the fact that the location of the biofilm is contingent to snail location, the outcomes of this project will help to understand the nature of this rare symbiosis. The photosynthetic rate will be determined in situ by placing the biofilm covered snails in biochambers equipped with electronic sensors to measure Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide production while simultaneously measuring quality of light parameters such as intensity, UVA and UVB rays.

Finding Our Way through Our Environment
Environmental Science
Mary Jo Fleming
Staff: Kristen Myrick
Roseville Community School
50 Corporation Yard Rd.
Roseville CA 95678
916-786-6906
rosevillecommunityschool@surewest.net; maryjo@mindsync.com

Finding Our Way Through Our Environment is a project that brings children to the outdoor classroom, fosters a sense of stewardship and provides hands on learning experiences using navigation tools (maps and GPS) to find beaver habitats in the students’ immediate community. Explorations of the beaver habitats will provide a backdrop to explore many environmental questions as well as learning useful, purposeful, real life navigation skills.

Water Filtration in Chirimoto, Peru
Environmental Science
Gary Garber
Staff: Nicholas Dent, Paolo Belfiore, Jeremy Schein, Sam Duffley
Boston University Academy
One University Road
Boston MA 02215
617-353-8999
Gary_Garber@buacademy.org; ggarber@bu.edu

Students have the opportunity to design and fabricate a prototype slow sand water filtration device. Such a device should filter out parasites and bacterial contaminates. The work is a collaboration between high school students on the BU robotics team and the BU chapter of Engineers Without Borders. If the prototype is successful, the actual full scale device will be assembled in a village in Peru.

Sailing: Yesterday, Today and Beyond!
Integrating Literacy and Science
Melissa Gill
Delphi Community Elementary School
300 West Vine Street
Delphi IN 46923
765-564-3895
tuber@embarqmail.com

Students will be fully engaged in the changing technology of water travel through an integrated literacy and science unit. They will read in Literature Circles and discuss the literary features of nonfiction text, while also discussing the impact of technology on sailing. Using mathematical and engineering skills, students will construct a mini-wooden sailboat. Students will record and graph data such as the distance sailed. They will also present an oral report suggesting ways to improve or modify their boats. Finally, taking technology into account, students will sketch a ship of the future and present it to the class. The concepts learned in this unit will lay a firm foundation for the exploration of “sailing” in space.

Cool Chemistry Show
Physical Science
Amy Hanson
Staff: Anna Noble
East High School
1600 City Park Esplanade
Denver CO 80206
720-423-8430
Amy_Hanson@dpsk12.org; hanson.amyjo@gmail.com

Students will visit elementary schools and perform chemistry demonstrations that teach the students about physical changes, chemical reactions, density, acids and bases, and more. This chemistry show will serve as a project based assessment for the high school chemistry students and will establish a year-long partnership between the elementary and high school students. Students from each school will communicate throughout the year as the elementary students complete a unit about physical chemistry and as the high school students master more chemistry content.

Nothing but Junk Alternative Energy Technology Contest
Environmental Science
Jodie Hardenbrook
Odyssey Academy
6201 Noble Avenue
Brooklyn Center MN 55429
763-971-8200
jhardenbrook@odysseyacademy.org; maple1@comcast.net

Can junk and renewable resources change our future? Students will research renewable and nonrenewable resources. Students will discover how our energy is currently produced and graph how energy consumption has increased over the past century. Students will also research on how consumption continues to rise drastically. Then the competition will begin. Students will design and build model solar powered boats and fuel cell cars. All items except for the power source will be made out of trash. We will race them and determine which cars and boats had most efficient design. We also will discuss transformation of energy and how humans impact the environment. We are very excited to begin this hands-on project!

Have You Read My Field Guide?
Integrating Literacy and Science
Randy Hart
Staff: Melissa Remus, Kris Cunningham
The Children’s School at Sylvia Circle
929 Sylvia Circle
Rock Hill SC 29730
803-981-1380
ahart@rock-hill.k12.sc.us; ala79@msn.com

Our student’s will work all year on writing, illustrating, and publishing a field guide of our schoolyard. Using a variety of field guides, the internet, and other non-fiction books, the students will research the plants and animals that are indigenous to our region. This project incorporates not only our Language Arts curriculum but our Science curriculum as well. By having a true understanding of the plants and animals that live in their natural environment, the students will be more successful learning about environments around the world.

Project Design, Build and Test
Physical Science
Frank Holder
Pflugerville High School
1301 W. Pecan
Pflugerville TX 78660
512-594-0505
Fholder1@austin.rr.com; frank.holder@pflugervilleisd.net

What do mousetrap cars, projectile launchers and robots all have in common? They are all vehicles to teach problem solving skills to prospective engineering students. High school students will learn the basics of mechanics, electricity and electronics as they seek to build a better solution to a series of problems. Each project will culminate in a head to head competition and presentation of the final “solution.” Students will assume the role of engineers in their quest for the better mousetrap car and programmable robot. Good science skills and creativity will win the day, and every one will have a great deal of fun.

Little Scientists Hatch Big Ideas
Integrating Literacy and Science
Dr. Beth Howard
Glen Iris Elementary School
1115 11th Street South
Birmingham AL 35205
205-231-7440
littletigergrad@yahoo.com; beth.howard@charter.net

Young children are eager to learn about the world around them! This literature-based project focuses on animals that lay eggs. Students in 8 collaborating kindergarten classes will observe and care for oviparous creatures, including chicks hatching in an incubator, frogs transforming from tadpoles, and butterflies emerging from intricate chrysalises. Students will be researchers as they gather information through observing, reading, listening and experimenting. Students will also be reporters, conveying what they learn to others, including writing, drawing, constructing models and art projects.

STARquest: Space Teams Accelerating Reading
Integrating Literacy and Science
Tonya Jackson
Staff: Lisa Rider, Andy Beck
Blaney Elementary
1621 Smyrna Road
Elgin SC 29045
803-438-3241
Tonya.jackson@kcsdschools.net; tandkjackson@att.net

STARquest brings first and fourth grade students together in the study of the science of space, while offering tremendous opportunities for developing written and verbal communication. Opportunities will be given for student experimentation, building learning relationships, involving participation by parents and utilizing partnerships with community experts in an astronomers club. The use of science literature units, family nights, speakers, field trips, and unique hands on activities will provide students with the opportunity to aggressively explore the link between space science and literature.

What is Killing the Frogs in Our Pond?
Environmental Science
Debra James
Southern Guilford High School
5700 Drake Road
Greensboro NC 27265
336-674-4250
jamesd5@gcsnc.com

Our once thriving half-acre pond’s amphibians are in trouble. The population of hundreds of tadpoles, frogs, and tree frogs has been severely decimated. A massive die-off occurred in the spring of 2008 and the AP Environmental Science students wanted to know why there were so many dead frogs lying in the shallows of the pond. Frogs in the adjacent stream and wetland had survived so what was wrong with the pond? Students researched, suggested, and performed water quality tests, invertebrate studies, and amphibian biodiversity counts. The tadpoles were dark green to brown and the area surrounding the mouth was gray and peeling. Students went back to the library and researched frog diseases finally focusing on Chytrid. My students would like to join the national database for tracking amphibian populations infected with Chytrid. To do so requires official testing by the Pisces Molecular Lab in the Dept. of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. The tests require students to catch and swab 50 live frogs for the disease. Data is also collected on species, weight, health, length, etc. for each frog that is skin swabbed. Great care has to be taken to collect clean samples for PCR testing. These students have gone beyond the scope of the course to focus on an environmental issue important to them. My students want to do real scientific research with the goal of presenting their findings at an NSTA conference.

Investigation of Algae Based Ethanol Production
Environmental Science
Craig Kohn
Staff: Gary Vinz, Amy Stranger, Zachary Walters
Waterford Union High School
100 Field Drive
Waterford WI 53185
262-534-3189
ckohn@waterforduhs.k12.wi.us; waterfordffavicepresident2@hotmail.com

A team of students is investigating low-energy methods of extracting lipids from algae cells for use in producing ethanol. Algae was chosen as a research model due to its prevalence and ability to utilize large amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. These students will focus on different approaches to extracting the lipids while minimizing the energy inputs of production. The team will also focus on creating classroom activitites regarding biofuels, environmental sustainability, and climate change.

Open Space Stewardship at the Crabmeadow Estuary
Environmental Science
Victoria Kramer
Staff: Bryan Horan, Kelly Lange
East Northport Middle School
1075 Fifth Avenue
East Northport NY 11731
631-262-6770
vkramer@northport.k12.ny.us; 4kramers@optonline.net

Students will be encouraged to explore science outside the classroom and become stewards at Crabmeadow Beach, a local saltwater estuary on the north shore of Long Island. Crabmeadow is an environmentally sensitive salt water estuary that is part of the Long Island Sound Study, a major environmental investigation in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (Conn DEP). Students will collect data from this area and share their findings with each respective agency and other students on Long Island at the annual Open Space Steward Ship Program (OSSP) celebration scheduled for June 2009.

The Coral Reef Goes on a Field Trip!
Environmental Science
Scott Krebbeks
Honeoye Falls-Lima Middle School
619 Quaker Meetinghouse Road
Honeoye Falls NY 14472
585-624-7100
Scott_Krebbeks@hflcsd.org; skrebbeks@rochester.rr.com

‘The Reef Hits the Road’ project is an extension to the ‘Classroom Coral Reef’ project made possible by a 2008 Toyota TAPESTRY large grant award. The main goals of this project are: 1) to increase accessability to the ‘Classroom Coral Reef’ by providing virtual field trips to our classroom reef aquarium and marine ornamental breeding system; and 2) to promote classroom-to-classroom interactions with students of all ages from locations around the globe. The project goals will be accomplished by utilizing webcams and video conferencing technology in a real-time distance learning application. Additionally, the current project blog (http://skrebbeks.edublogs.org/) will be augmented by use of this technology and will serve as a “learning hub” where students and teachers can view images of, ask and answer questions about, and share ideas for student inquiry activities pertaining to the classroom reef and marine ornamental breeding system.

Forensic Study: Can Bones Really Tell Stories?
Integrating Literacy and Science
Frances Leverenz
Parkway North High School
12860 Fee Fee Road
Creve Coeur MO 63146
314-415-5678
fleverenz@pkwy.k12.mo.us; fleverenz@gmail.com

To build students' interest in anatomy/physiology and forensics we will read 2 books, Last Breath and Dead Men Do Tell Tales, which generate discussions and serve as a basis for our studies. Students accumulate information about systems of the body through additional resources. They disseminate what measurements, which bones or observable information is needed to discover height, age, race and sex of the individual. Students are then presented with various bones to investigate. Throughout the activity metric measurements, anatomical terms, and critical thinking are developed. They then relate information in the books to their investigation and give the statistics about the individual.

Ribbit-ology
Environmental Science
Barbara Lewis
Staff: Karen Feeney, Cathy Lopez-Cooling, Carol Dorn, Dorianne Dougherty
Children’s House Montessori
2848 Grubb Road
Wilmington DE 19810
302-529-9259
Barbara@childrenshouse-de.org; drkaren@bw-totalhealth.com

Students have the opportunity to become environmental stewards by discovering the wonderful life of frogs and why they are important markers for the earth. Students will learn frog markings, sounds, habitats and hazards. They will teach others in the community how to care for these precious and fragile creatures. This work will complement the “Reconsider Your Footprint” Program already underway through DNREC, RecycleBank and Master Gardeners.

Runaway Runoff
Physical Science
Brian Liskey
Oley Valley High School
17 Jefferson Street
Oley PA 19522
610-987-4100
bliskey@gmail.com; bliskey@ovsdpa.org

"Students will test the effects of both agricultural runoff and runoff that has come from the new housing developments into the local streams and estuaries. Special emphasis will be placed on evaluation techniques by the students to determine how the impact of both farming and urbanization affects the water system. Data acquisition probes and sensors will be utilized to test the salinity, nitrate, ammonia, calcium, and chloride concentrations in waterways at various points throughout Oley Valley, Pa."

“Bring Back the Warblers with Native Plant Landscaping”
Environmental Science
John Markelon
Staff: Melissa Brutting
Litchfield High School
14 Plumb Hill Road
Litchfield CT 06759
860-567-7530
markelonj@litchfieldschools.org; Markelon@optonline.net

In our town the Intermediate and High School share a campus. The 4 th through 6 th grade “Bird Sleuths” will inventory this campus for the number and variety of birds. High school students will plan a woodland restoration of this same campus. Student and community volunteers will eradicate non native plant material and replace them with native material appropriate for the soil and climate. The bird sleuths will continue their biannual bird counts while the high school horticulture class will maintain the restored habitat. Additionally, these horticulture students will develop a native plant nursery. These plants will be distributed to students and to adjacent Conservation Center. Studies are beginning to show a link between native plants and the number and diversity of insect herbivores which are the primary food source for many species of birds.

Aquatic Invertebrate Inventory
Environmental Science
Quentin McAllister
Staff: Tia Thysell, Mona Davis, Paul Zosel, Becky Greenagle
Cleveland Elementary School
919 Northern Avenue
Fergus Falls MN 56537
218-998-4493
qmcallister@fergusfalls.k12.mn.us

The mission of the Prairie Science Class is to use the local prairie wetlands ecosystem as an integrating and motivating context to engage fourth and fifth grade students in science, health, and writing through real world, field-based learning experiences. The project directly aligns with the learning plan of the Prairie Science Class, a magnet program of the Fergus Falls Public Schools, located at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center. The Aquatic Invertebrate Inventory will bring the fourth and fifth grade students of the Prairie Science Class into the field to conduct a scientific inventory of aquatic invertebrates. This study will include all of the 28 wetlands located within the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center (PWLC). The completion of an inventory in all 28 wetlands will be dependant upon the following factors: wetland accessibility and seasonal factors, including weather and snow and ice depth. The PWLC is located in western Minnesota and at the eastern edge of North America’s Prairie Pothole Region, an area known for having the highest density of wetlands on the continent. Through this project, students will identify and inventory aquatic invertebrates as close to the species level as possible, at least once each season (fall, winter, spring). Following each field excursion, students will analyze collected data to develop their knowledge of relationships between the invertebrates inventoried and other features of these wetland ecosystems (size, water depth, vegetation, water temperature).

LED Security Lighting Using Photo Voltaic Energy
Environmental Science
Dr. Paul McElligott
Staff: Gary Abude
Fountain Hills High School
16100 Palisades Boulevard
Fountain Hills AZ 85268
480-664-5573
pjmcelligott@yahoo.com; pmcelligott@fhusd.org

Students will research, design and install a solar-based LED lighting system to provide illumination on an open desert campus that routinely attracts a variety of desert wildlife. Potentially replacing currently used high energy, expensive halogen lighting, the LED system will provide more effective lighting needed for students and parents to safely negotiate the campus at night during school events. A successful project will result in energy savings for the school district and a joint collaboration with the town to develop lighting options for downtown walkway areas.

Hope for the Hoh
Integrating Literacy and Science
Kendra O’Dea
Staff: Debbie O’Keeffe, Alicia Pearson, Laurene Nauditt
Saint Mary’s Catholic School
14601 E. 4th Avenue
Spokane WA 99216
509-924-4300
shortbreadhill@hotmail.com; ko’dea@dioceseofspokane.org

The Hoh Rainforest on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula is one of the only rainforests in the United States. Not only is it one of the only rainforests in the United States, but it is also home to many plant and animal species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Before my students embark on their weeklong trip to the Olympic Peninsula they will use a variety of reputable resources, specific to the “uniqueness” of the Hoh National Rainforest, to help them conduct quality research. Research topics might include old growth forests, the banana slug, Roosevelt Elk, the environmental impact of deforestation and many other topics specific to the Hoh National Rainforest. Having quality research materials accompanied with a week on the Olympic Peninsula is a tremendous educational opportunity for my students to make real life connections between their in-class research and their outdoor rainforest experience.

Integrating Engineering Techniques in Electrical Labs for Physics
Physical Science
Billy Sensing
St. Mary’s High School
1243 Elmdale Road
Paducah KY 42003
270-442-1681
bsensing@smss.org; bsensing@comcast.net

In a time when our country has a deficit of engineers, high school physics labs are negligent in creating a genuine interest in science, but Lab View and Multisim are available tools to bring conventional electrical labs to life. Imagine students working with a simple half-wave rectification circuit then simulating the same circuit with Multisim, or studying LED’s and control and then using Lab View to program a flashing LED controlled by a motion detector. We don’t have to wait, the future is now.

Getting Wet and Dirty!
Environmental Science
Matthew Sheehan
Staff: Barbara Tarragon
The Brooklyn New School
610 Henry Street
Brooklyn NY 11231
718-923-4750
Sheehan.matthew@yahoo.com

Very soon the children at the Brooklyn New School - PS 146 - will be rejoicing each time it rains on their school yard. Rejoicing because they’re happy to miss recess? No way!! They will be rejoicing because an exciting project will soon be underway that will take their rainy day blues away. Students will be harvesting rainwater in a system that they are going to research, design and build.. They will also be testing storm water run off for contaminants in an attempt to persuade local officials of the importance of putting rainwater to work, rather than down the drain. In addition, the captured water will also be used to grow food in our school yard garden. We hope this project will encourage children to eat locally, as well as get wet and dirty on a daily basis.

Tornado Trail
Integrating Literacy and Science
Alison Tanner
Bremen Academy
2440 Crosstown Parkway
Bremen GA 30110
770-537-9340
alison.tanner@bremencs.com; jwt2861@aol.com

Students will study tornadoes through the use of a tornado simulator. They will also use literature to study the human side of this phenomenon of nature. Several experiments will be conducted to gather data on the weather during tornado season in the south. Students will also research record tornadoes in Tornado Alley and compare them with tornadoes that have occurred in their own state.

Biomimicry: Improving Design through Nature and Respecting Nature through Design
Integrating Literacy and Science
Dr. Jay Vavra
Staff: Tom Fehrenbacher, Julia Gordon
High Tech High
2861 Womble Road
San Diego CA 92106
619-243-5032
jvavra@hightechhigh.org; drvavra@gmail.com

In this project students will learn about the connections between evolution and biomimicry in order to improve our local environment. It can be said that natural products have undergone over three billion years of product testing. Student teams will identify, define, and measure problems in and around San Diego Bay ranging from water quality issues to habitat destruction. After studying the processes in nature that address similar functions, students will develop their own biomimetic designs in math, biology and humanities. In the end they will evaluate their designs in light of the tenants of sustainability: 1. All energy is solar; 2. All waste is food; and 3. All life is diverse; which will allow the students to find the importance of a sustainable society. The multidisciplinary nature of the project will emphasize the importance of integrating science and literature and the positive impact each has on the other. Students will research, sketch, illustrate, design, write and publish a book on biomimicry adding to the previous four student publications on San Diego Bay (see www.sdbayguide.com).