The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) club members at St. Ursula Academy were rewarded for the hard work on their Save the Soil project, selected as a winner in the Lexus Eco Challenge Challenge 1 Water and Land. There were 16 high school awards—two from each of the four sections of the country, and two from the Midwest, including the SUA project. The prize is the recognition and a $10,000 award, $7000 of which will be divided among the seven team members for scholarships, and the balance to the school for further STEM activities.
In response to the competition prompt to tackle an environmental issue related to land, air, water and climate, the students looked at the possibility of re-purposing Lake Erie and Maumee River sediment for agricultural purposes. They used it to grow Daikon radishes, a common fallow field crop, and study how the sediment supports vegetation.
The students worked on their project with input from the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, the University of Toledo, and Hull and Associates, a Toledo engineering firm in Toledo.