University of Southern California

2006 QuikSCience Challenge
Winning Teams

High School

First Place: Animo Venice Charter High School
Second Place: Francis Parker High School
Best Lesson Plan: Monte Vista High School
Best Community Service: Animo Leadership Charter High School
Honorable Mention: Lakewood High School


Middle School

First Place: John A. Sutter Academy
Second Place: Van Avery Middle School
Best Lesson Plan: Curtis Middle School
Best Community Service: John Adams Middle School
Honorable Mention: Mann Middle School



QuikSCience Challenge 2006
High School Winning Team Project Summaries

First Place:
Animo Venice Charter High School

Team members: Ms. Klein, Carolin Chhor, Christinea Caldera, Katie Griffith, Anthony Grimaldo, Sandra Mendez, Elysee Madarang, Ian Nelson

Lesson Plan: "Marine and Wetland Explorers" – involved the study of geographic information systems (GIS) to collect and analyze geospatial data to help solve different problems in the Ballona Wetlands and Santa Monica Bay. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the interactions between the physical, chemical, and biological processes that control the distribution of these elements and how that changes over time.

Community Service: Led service learning activities that involved wetland restoration, teaching peers about wetland biodiversity, creating a lesson plan, and presenting wetland activities and a PowerPoint program to at least 5 other schools (elementary to high).

Research Proposal: To create a "living laboratory" for schools to study and experience natural outdoor classroom in the Ballona Wetlands that would be rich in learning/teaching resources, and be designed to enhance school curriculum, and produce a generation of environmental stewards.

Multimedia Presentation: Created stewardship website and PowerPoint presentation

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Second Place:
Francis Parker High School

Team members: Ms. Dykes, Jeff Edwards, Josh Osias, Nicole Pedroarena Leal, David Price, Nailah Spruill, Martites Villarosa Garcia

Lesson Plan: "Threatened Species Along California's Coast" – designed to educate students about endangered marine species, while understanding how factors such as over fishing and pollution can harm different species and how the elimination of one species can have effects on the ecosystem

Community Service: Interviewed students on prior knowledge of endangered species, lead a group of 5th grade students in an educational activity about endangered species, and increased community awareness by having the students design and post posters depicting conservation messages around the school

Research Proposal: "Human Bacterial Contamination of Least Tern Habitat" – designed to test the water in San Diego Bay near the airport for bacterial coliform, and determine how that might affect local least tern populations nearby.

Multimedia Presentation: PowerPoint presentation of research proposal and community service project and portfolio with all written components and team photos

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Best Lesson Plan:
Monte Vista High School

Team members: Ms. Delgado, Shelley Alingas, Allison Fenner, Ruben Flores, Stephen Jones, Grant Crow, Jennifer Johnson

Lesson Plan: "Oil Spill Lab" – to experiment with methods of cleaning oil out of water and relate that to cleaning oil out of the ocean while experiencing the difficulty of cleaning oil and understanding that oil pollution is a result of human activity

Community Service: "Storm Drain Stenciling" – led 23 students to paint conservation messages above 24 storm drains around their school, and handed out 40 brochures to educate local on-lookers

Research Proposal: "Environment vs. Economy" – propose to investigate the effects of water pollution by industries and at what point will theses industries be responsible for the direct effects of their activities in the name of economy

Multimedia Presentation: DVD documenting teaching of lesson plan and conducting Storm Drain Stenciling community service project and portfolio with all written components and team photos

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Best Community Service:
Animo Leadership Charter HS

Team members: Mr. Friedman, Angelica Gonzalez, Cinthia Campos, Daisy Aceves, Zoyla Pinaco, Emily Saldana, Elivera Rosales, Rosa Cabrera

Lesson Plan: "Consuming healthy fish, reducing land based marine pollution" – designed to educate the Animo students, parents and surrounding communities on healthy fish consumption, species and quantity. Delivered a PowerPoint presentation to ninth grade classes at Animo and to parent meetings.

Community Service: Organized a students outreach program to local fishing spots to educate the community on safe seafood consumption and practices that contribute to marine pollution prevention.

Research Proposal: Conduct survey to assess community knowledge and practices on waste disposal, possible consumption of hazardous fish, and related fish concerns. Specifically addressed in the survey are individual disposal of used-car oil, use of lawn pesticide, and other runoff into storm drains. The basis of these findings will constitute the design, plan, and implementation of an educational intervention for the community.

Multimedia Presentation:
DVD produced of community outreach and PowerPoint Presentation of lesson plan

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Honorable Mention:
Lakewood High School

Team members: Ms. Bauer, Alisha Copeland, Kaitlynn Estes, Josh Witt, Angela Cruz, Peter Shahid, Keely Norton, Cindy Loza

Lesson Plan: Students will learn to identify the sources of plastics in the ocean (such as "nurdles"), the effects on the marine organisms and ecosystem, and identify ways to remove such pollunants.

Community Service: Participated in the opening event of the Colorado Lagoon Marine Science Education Center and set up an outreach table to educate attendees on the effects of plastics on the marine enviroment.

Research Proposal: "Solution of the Ocean's Pollution" – propose to develop a United Southern California Nurdle Station (USCNS) that receives nurdles found on local beach by the public. These samples would be analyzed in a lab at tested for harmful toxins, in hopes of identifying the source and possible prevention in the future.

Multimedia Presentation: DVD of field trip and lesson plan

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QuikSCience Challenge 2006
Middle School Winning Team Project Summaries

First Place:
John A. Sutter Academy

Team Members: Mrs. Adrienne Sandstedt, Jazmin Alvarez, Karen Ferrer, Sergio Garcia Jr., Branda Im, Joanna Olmos, Angelica Pineda, Brenda Rodriquez

Lesson Plan: The team wrote, performed, and produced an educational video showing students how a Cheetos bag left on the school playground ends up on a beach via the storm drain. The video was showed in kindergarten through eighth grade classes for a week long awareness campaign. In addition the students presented a lesson plan and supplemental handouts to discuss the impacts of pollution and the importance of the ocean.

Community Service: The team planned and carried out a week long awareness campaign at their school. This included hanging education posters and a logo hunt (Trash and Water Don't Mix). The week ended with a cleanup of the school ground and surrounding neighborhood, which borders the LA River. Over 400 students participated in the event, which was also attended by the local councilwoman. The team coordinated with the Long Beach Department of Water to receive gloves, bags, and tips for a successful cleanup.

Multimedia Presentation: DVD presentation with pictures, video, documentation, and reflections. Portfolio with the lesson plans for K-2 and 3-5, supplemental handouts, and flowchart of the project.

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Second Place:
Van Avery Middle School

Team Members: Ms. Cheryl Frye, Oliver Myers, Rafael Navarro, Rhett Jaramillo, Jeffrey Crane, Madison Fitzsimmons

Lesson Plan: The team wrote and taught three lessons at different stations to one fourth grade class. The lesson topics focused on the team's favorite aspects of the research project that they performed in the drainage basin and watershed near their school. The lessons included: how some pollutants do not mix with water, and a discussion of the different densities of water and oil; the different plant and animal life the team discovered in their water test samples through the microscope; how there are some pollutants in the watershed that cannot be seen, such as nitrate nitrogen.

Community Service: The team scheduled a beach clean up at the water outlet from the school watershed, located between Cardiff and San Elijo State Beaches. Students circulated flyers to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders on the Monday before the clean up was to occur.

Multimedia Presentation: Powerpoint presentation of research project with procedures, results and analysis; also included outline of lesson plan and community service project. DVD with Quicktime movies of team members teaching lesson plans.

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Best Lesson Plan:
Curtis Middle School

Team Members: Ms. Gianna Vargas, Fiona Bracho, Anna Linsmayer, Libby Parker, Randy Person, Evelyn Sanchez, Aemon Viens

Lesson Plan: The team developed a lesson plan for the project that has an objective "to teach students the components of the food web and information on specific organisms that live in and around the ocean" and "to show how these animals are interconnected and how the environmental factors can indirectly affect the entire food web". This two-day lesson was taught to 3 different third grade classes using ocean information cards, worksheets, and a game that involved the students in forming a food web.

Community Service: To fulfill the service component of the project the team partnered with Heal the Bay in the Adopt-A-Beach Program. The beach adopted was Santa Monica Beach because of the high public use. The team pledged to clean the beach three times a year. The team also distributed fliers to gain participation in the beach cleanups. Finally, the team took video from the cleanup to third grade classes to increase interest for upcoming g cleanups.

Multimedia Presentation: Portfolio with information about the Adopt-A-Beach Programs, lesson plan write-up, sample work from students taught, reflections, and resources used for the components of the project. DVD documenting their project through video, photos, and additional text.

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Best Community Service:
John Adams Middle School

Team Members: Ms. Brigitte Steinmetz, Tessa Walther, Dylan Braun, Steven Gordon, Nicholas Salazar, Eric Staugard, Jivanto Van Hemert

Lesson Plan: The objective of the created lesson is "to help students understand how weight and shape (cube, sphere, pyramid, flat, square, rod) affect the speed of different objects falling through salt and fresh water". To convey this message the team adapted an activity to construct plankton that will sink as slowly as possible.

Community Service: For the service project the team decided that teaching younger generations was a great way to assist the community. The team taught 7 classes in 3 elementary schools about the effects of runoff pollution on Santa Monica Bay. After 2 separate beach cleanups were held and students, teachers, and parents participated.

Multimedia Presentation: Interactive website that documented each component of their project; research, lesson plan, and community service, and also includes photos, reflections, and links to other useful information.

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Honorable Mention:
Mann Middle School

Team Members: Ms. Courtney Browne, Anthony Fumagalli, Jennifer Lorn, Angela Cheng, Rhonda Phommarath, Michelle Tri, Dennis Daro Yim

Lesson Plan: The team created a lesson plan which complemented the topics being taught in the 6th grade science classes. Therefore, the team developed and implemented a two-part lesson plan to present to the class. The lesson included a presentation about estuaries and a game to compliment the presentation. The following visit the team had the students take a test to evaluate the knowledge gained from the estuaries lesson.

Community Service: The service component of the project was completed at the Tijuana Estuary. The day began with an informative walk discussing the birds of the estuary. This was followed by an effort to remove invasive plant species from a specified area and replace with native plants. This was a successful project and the students were invited to return to continue with the rehabilitation of the Tijuana Estuary.

Multimedia Presentation: Portfolio that complied their lesson plan, reflections, photos, and quiz and PowerPoint presentation the team used in their lesson plan about estuaries.

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