Eleanor Roosevelt Students Reach Out
In celebration of EE Week 2009, the 8th grade science class at Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School in New York City partnered with Greenproofing, Inc. to conduct research on the local water supply, water pollution and storm water management in the community of Washington Heights, home to one of New York City's largest waste water treatment plants. The students then prepared a series of outreach materials in both English and Spanish to present to community members.
After comparing the chemical content of tap water and bottled water, students found that tap water actually had the same or less amounts of chemicals such as chlorine. Students researched the effects of household cleaning supplies on water quality and students created alternative, homemade cleaning solutions using household items like lemon juice and vinegar. Students also created a model rain garden in an old fish tank to demonstrate how rain gardens can be used to reduce storm water runoff.
In addition to their research and community outreach, Roosevelt students had the opportunity to present their findings to Washington Heights community leaders at the Community Board 12 Committee on Health, the Environment and Youth Education, as well as at the Youth Can event at the American Museum of Natural History.
Gioya Fennelly, an 8th grade science teacher, said the students relished the chance to speak to the community on a science issue.
"Every one of the children that was involved in the EE Week activities now thinks science is cool and is something that each one of them can excel in," Fennelly said. "They love presenting their community outreach research in English and Spanish and many have developed excellent public speaking skills as a result of these presentations."
Submitted by Gioya Fennelly, Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School
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