Nine students from St. Ursula’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) team decided they wanted to address the Maumee River’s pollution and algae problem. Jackie Kane, STEM adviser, explains how they decided their plan of action: “After much research, we found that the best place to remediate for pollution is at the site of origin. So we figured before we do anyone else’s backyard, we better do our own.”
The team decided to remediate a run-off area on the school’s property to simplify the rain garden idea to boost water quality. They removed the polluted mud, replaced it with clean dirt, and added rocks and plants from Toledo Environmental Services. They then submitted their plan to the Lexus Eco Challenge, a national contest that encourages middle and high school students to create and implement programs that positively impact their surrounding ecological environments.
The Lexus Eco Challenge, hosted by luxury automaker Lexus, and Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, chose 16 winning teams nationwide, and St. Ursula was one of them. Each team received a total of $10,000 in grants and scholarships.