University of Southern California

2008 QuikSCience Challenge
Winning Teams



High School–WEST Coast

First Place: Santa Monica High School
Second Place (tied): Animo Leadership Charter High School
Second Place (tied): Mira Costa High School
Best Lesson Plan: Int'l. Polytechnic High School
Best Community Service: Francis Parker School

Middle School–WEST Coast

First Place: Van Avery Prep School
Second Place: John Adams Middle School
Best Lesson Plan: St. Callistus – Team Turtle
Best Community Service: St. Callistus – Team Ocean
Honorable Mention: John Muir Middle School

High School–EAST Coast

First Place:
Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES)
Second Place:
Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES)

Middle School–EAST Coast

First Place: Veterans Memorial Middle School
Second Place: Wall Middle School

 

==================================================

QuikSCience Challenge 2008
High School–West Coast
Winning Team Project Summaries


First Place:
Santa Monica High School

"The Impact of Plastics on the Marine Environment"

Team Members: Mr. Ben Kay, Craig Carcary, Daniel Farahdel, Daniel Hakhamzadeh, Caroline Knab, Yassaman Sarvian, Evelina Weary

Lesson Plan Summary: To effectively reach students in a broad age range, we wrote two separate lesson plans all with the same theme—the impact of plastics on the marine environment. Our elementary school lesson plan educated students about sustainability, the importance of recycling, and how plastics negatively affect out oceans. The lesson plan was split into six parts: a storm drain skit, our "Danny Going Green" video, a power point presentation, a recycling game, a review/quiz, take home activities (word search, crossword, and coloring sheet), and little gifts. For our high school lesson plan, we taught the same concepts, but also included an M&M game with graphing about why marine birds mistake plastic for food.

Community Service Summary: Our community service project involved many activities, including educating ourselves at several conferences, attending beach cleanups, conducting a plastic bag drive at our school, organizing a student march against plastic bags, organizing and presenting a water pollution prevention workshop with Generation Earth, creating an environmental website, making an environmental video that we posted on YouTube, and organizing and presenting in an environmental awareness day at Santa Monica High School.

Research Proposal Summary: We hypothesized that the potential ban on plastics in Santa Monica will significantly reduce the amount of plastic debris entering the ocean over the next ten plus years. We will test this by conducting transact surveys on the beach during the summer and winter months. During the winter months, we will also set up wire seine nets to collect and then quantify the total number and weight of plastic bags entering the ocean.

Top of Page

 

Second Place (tied):
Animo Leadership Charter High School

"Impact of Human Sounds on Marine Mammals, Especially Cetaceans"

Team Members: Mr. Mark Friedman, Cinthia Campos, Gerardo Enriquez, Cristina Hernandes, Christina Jimenez, Diana Sanchez, Christian Talavera

Lesson Plan Summary: The objective of our lesson plan, Impact of Human Sounds on Marine Mammals, Especially Cetaceans, was to inform the students of the negative impact that sonar and human made sounds have on whale and other cetaceans' hearing. By outlining the key parts of a whale and human ear and then incorporating the use of the Hydrophone, students will be able to identify the effects of sonar activity in the ocean and its impact on whale hearing.

Community Service Summary: We began by educating parents and students through the science department classes at Animo Leadership Charter High School. We will petition the U.S. Navy to ban naval underwater sonar denotation and blasts. We will begin publicizing this information and educating others to get involved in this project.

Research Proposal Summary: The QuikSCience team observed the negative effects of harbor sounds on marine mammals. We used a Hydrophone to hear underwater sounds. In a total of four tracks, noises occurring underwater on a regular basis were recorded and analyzed. With the use of this analysis, we worked towards finding any type of correlation between mammal strandings and harbor sounds.

Top of Page

 

Second Place (tied):
Mira Costa High School (Roundhouse Aquarium)

"Hunters or Hunted: An Investigation into the Relationships between Humans, Sharks and their Habitats"

Team Members: Ms. Lauren Holman, Kameron Bain, Scott Friedlander, Chase Gregory, Kimi Karatsu, Robbie McCracken, Ryan Richards

Lesson Plan Summary: Our Lesson Plan "Hunters or Hunted: An investigation into the relationships between humans, sharks and their habitats," consisted of teaching both intermediate and high school students about sharks, their history, endangerment, and contribution to the environment. The objective of these lessons was to create and increase awareness of the importance of shark conservation.

Community Service Summary: To change people's perceptions of sharks we engaged in a variety of activities including a 'Shark Benefit Concert' at the local Teen Center, a shark crafts weekend at the Roundhouse Aquarium, and educational outreach to the public. We taught the public about shark conservation and also raised enough money from donations to adopt six great white sharks.

Research Proposal Summary: Our research proposal investigated the relationship between sharks and humans. We focused on three different types of habitats and three species of shark living in those habitats. We proposed a study to determine the extent to which humans have a negative impact on the shark populations.

Top of Page

 

Best Lesson Plan:
International Polytechnic High School

"Impacts on Sea Turtles and their Nesting Grounds"

Team Members: Ms. Denise Cancino, Azucena Amaya, Cristina Cortez, Michael Cusey, Annalise Petriello, Joshua Robles, Jonathan Rodriguez

Lesson Plan Summary: We taught three lessons at five schools focusing on sea turtles and safe consumerism. The students took part in a relay race representing the life stages of sea turtles, learned about runoff, painted canvas bags to limit plastic bag use, and learned how to shop environmentally at the market.

Community Service Project: We focused on sea turtle endangerment and traveled to Loreto, BCS, Mexico to volunteer for and present on behalf of the U.S. at the 29th Global Sea Turtle Symposium. We then organized a community fashion show with ocean inspired clothing and educational literature. We sent some of the proceeds raised to a sea turtle conservation group and used the rest to paint an 8 feet by 16 feet ocean mural for our school. Finally, we submitted a proposal for a plastic bag reduction ordinance in our city.

Research Proposal Summary: Our research proposal focused on the use of chemical insect and mosquito repellants, namely DEET, near sea turtle nesting beaches. We propose to monitor sites along the eastern coast of Costa Rica over the course of a year and test the beaches, eggs, and blood of sea turtles for levels of chemical insect repellants.

Top of Page

 

Best Community Service:
Francis Parker School

"Disease Detectives, International Student Environmental Awareness (ISEA), and Heavy Metals"

Team Members: Ms. Kathleen Dykes, Emily Barratta, Carrie Fjeldheim, Simone Leonard, Samantha Sheehan, Cassidy Waggonner, Kaity Wilson, Alicia Valencia

Lesson Plan Summary: In our lesson plan we focused on waterborne diseases: Malaria, Legionnaires Disease, Arsenicosis, and Gastroenteritis. Our lesson plan consisted of a PowerPoint, a simulation of the T.V. show House where students diagnose a "patient" with one of the four diseases, and an activity where they look at numerous waterborne diseases in prepared slides under a microscope. They also filled out a "medical report" for the patient in the hospital simulation and drew what they saw under the microscope.

Community Service Summary: Our community service project was focused on reaching out to students around the world. We created a non-profit organization called International Students for Environmental Awareness (ISEA). Our goal was to have an annual event called "Seven Days: Seven Continents" in which we provide education, experience, and awareness of critical environmental issues to high school students internationally. ISEA highlighted participating schools on their website by posting project ideas, summaries and multimedia to promote involvement in the program and communication among students.

Research Proposal Summary: The water chemistry of San Diego Bay is highly influenced by various naval ships, cruise liners and smaller vessels. The objective of our research proposal was to determine the extent of heavy metal pollutants in the bay. Surface water samples collected along transects will be analyzed for their heavy metal (Cu, Ni, Zn) concentrations in hopes to expose a point source for these contaminants. This proposal seeks to show whether the thousands of ships that regularly travel to other ports could actually be harming the water of San Diego Bay.

Top of Page

 

 

QuikSCience Challenge 2008
Middle School–West Coast
Winning Team Project Summaries

First Place:
Van Avery Prep

"Pollution from the Lunch Box to the Ocean"

Team Members: Ms. Cheryl Frye, Katie Clark, Mackenzie Files, Renee Michel, Vinayak Pillai, Ryan Talamantes

Lesson Plan Summary: We presented to all elementary grades three core topics: how students at our school impact ocean pollution, how students can decrease pollution, and how pollution from the school reaches the ocean. In addition, we taught grades second through fifth how pollution impacts ocean habitats and marine life. Overall, we presented to 345 students.

Community Service Summary: After teaching our lesson, we had the students bring waste-free lunches on January 23rd and January 30th. The objective was to not pollute on that day and to see which grade could have the least amount of waste. By spanning kindergarten through eighth grade, 445 students participated, reducing school waste by 7.5 pounds in one day.

Top of Page

 

Second Place:
John Adams Middle School

"Small Actions Save the Ocean"

Team Members: Mr. Duilio Cascio, Cora Cull, Amanda Dworkin, Mackenzie Moody, Matthew Park, Kodi Winterer, Kyle Winterer

Lesson Plan Summary: We subdivided our lesson plan into three levels—kindergarten to second, third to fifth, and sixth to eighth—each with increasing level of comprehension. The lesson plans consisted of a PowerPoint and physical demonstration model for all classes and a recycling activity for elementary school students. We focused around resource conservation and its effects on the ocean.

Community Service Summary: We taught our lessons to students in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and teamed up with the Community Energy Partnership to persuade neighbors to reduce energy and water consumption. We also wrote letters to government officials, schools, and the California Board of Education stating we wanted to improve classroom curriculum concerning human activities and oceans.

Top of Page

 

Best Lesson Plan:
St. Callistus – Team Totally Turtle

Team Members: Ms. Joy Martin, Rachel Basurto, Kimberly Davila, Vanessa Flores, Sabrina Nuno, Michelle Tran, Alexis Camba

Lesson Plan Summary: The lesson plan we prepared for kindergarten through third grade focused on the harmful impact of plastic bags on the sea turtle. Using a skit, interesting facts, a rope activity, Jeopardy, and a clever paper mache turtle, we were able to make concrete connections for our younger classmates between this magnificent animal and human actions.

Community Service Summary: As a result of the success in our school, we decided to submit this lesson plan to other schools in the area. This furthers the education of students and generates awareness of the problem of plastic bags.

Top of Page

 

Best Community Service:
St. Callistus – Team Ocean

"Will the Ocean Survive?"

Team Members: Ms. Joy Martin, Christina Alvarez, Adrienne Blake, Bianca Ceja, Grace Cuevas, Quan Dang, Andrea Gonzales

Lesson Plan Summary: In our Lesson Plan, we covered several topics regarding the ocean, and fit many different curriculums. We had an activity that shows the students what happens to different animals when there is an oil spill. We also had noodles and broken utensils that help us emphasize how our trash gets from trashcans to the ocean and harms animals. Last, but not least, our skit and song engaged the imagination of our audience while illustrating key points about protecting our oceans.

Community Service Summary: In our outreach to the community, we made a booklet of our Lesson plan that will be shown to 35 elementary schools, 12,954 students, and 789 teachers.

Top of Page

 

Honorable Mention:
John Muir Middle School

"Protecting Our Oceans"

Team Members: Ms. Melissa Chew, Alan Alcocer, Chayanne Aranda, Irvin Jerez, Ingrid Melendez, Jessi Solano, Perla Solarzano

Lesson Plan Summary: Students watched an iMovie depicting the effect of pollution on our ocean. After engaging them we provided the students with simple tips on what they can do to help keep our oceans clean. The 4th grade students drew themselves doing something to protect the oceans, while the 6th grade students completed a TrackStar Webquest to learn about ways they can protect the oceans and beaches.

Community Service Summary: Because of involvement in this competition, student formed an after-school mentorship club called Ocean C.A.R.E. Members of this team visited our feeder elementary school once a week to teach mini-science lessons and support reading skills. We also encouraged our fellow students, friends, and families to attend the "Nothin' But Sand" beach cleanup at Playa del Rey on February 16, 2008.

Top of Page

 

==================================================

QuikSCience Challenge 2008
High School–East Coast
Winning Team Project Summaries


First Place:
Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES)

"Maintaining Limited Marine Resources"

Team Members: Ms. Liza Baskin, Sal Galvan, Ryan Fantasia, Max Kornek, Kara Quiros

Lesson Plan Summary: Our first lesson is about managing marine resources. It's designed to help the students we're teaching acquire a basic understanding about the marine environment that surrounds them. Our next lesson is intended to show our students the major flaws in over-fishing. This will culminate in a hands-on boat trip.

Community Service Summary: For our community service we presented proper catch and release techniques and promoted the use of circle hooks. Through our project and catch and release exhibit, we educated many adults and children about ways to fish responsibly.

Research Proposal Summary: The Summer Flounder, Paralichthys dentatus, is a bottom dwelling food and is one of the most common recreationally fished species. Like many other species of marine life, the Summer Flounder or "Fluke" as it is commonly called, is being heavily managed in order to maintain their numbers. There have been many regulatory changes made regarding its limits but since 2004 there has been a push from recreational fisherman to lower the limits due to their perception that the fluke has recovered. Limits have not changed despite this pressure. We are looking to evaluate the current Paralichtys dentatus status and to find a correlation (if one exists) between limits and populations. It is expected that continued limits will result in both larger numbers of individuals and size of individuals. The Marine Academy of Science and Technology oceanography students will conduct this study this upcoming spring.

Top of Page

 

Second Place:
Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES)

"S.O.S. Save Our Seas"

Team Members: Ms. Jessica Godkin, Patricia Bruno, Alexa Kretsch, Allison Linnell, Allison McLeod, Rishi Sugla

Lesson Plan Summary: Team S.O.S. taught second grade students about the harmful effect debris has on the marine environment. They learned how to prevent pollution and ways to take care of our beaches by recycling. Students were able to decorate re-usable canvas bags, and touch benthic animals in a touch tank. The students were evaluated with a board activity and activity packet.

Community Service Summary: We guided a group of students in cleaning up Sod Bay on Sandy Hook. The volunteers were taught the difference between recyclables and trash and how to record data. Around 1,500 items were collected in the one-hour sweep, and 85% of those items were plastic. The beach not only looked better, but also was much safer for the marine environment.

Research Proposal Summary: The project will use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology to analyze physical data in association with debris data to determine the source of debris. Debris collected during sweeps will be divided into three categories: land based, ocean based, and undetermined. The results from this research can potentially be used to support legislation for better garbage control.

Top of Page

 

QuikSCience Challenge 2008
Middle School–East Coast
Winning Team Project Summaries

First Place:
Veterans Memorial Middle School

"A Day at the Beach"

Team Members: Mr. Jon Palombi, Thomas Alexander, Matthew Kolbusz, Marissa Nelson, Justin Schwartzsend, Sapna Syal, Megan Zuckaman

Lesson Plan Summary: Students taught second grade students to understand the importance of clean beaches by reading a story to them and having them place interactive pieces on a brainstorm board. Students were also engaged in a model of the beach to understand connection with beach cleanliness and animal wildlife that lives in the ocean.

Community Service Summary: Students instituted a fundraiser to adopt marine wildlife stranded on beaches, produced and sold buttons at school and local businesses, and raised level of awareness for beach cleanliness and wildlife preservation and protection. Their coordinated efforts brought second graders to speak to middle school students about the importance of recycling, and they began to institute a better recycling program in school.

Top of Page

 

Second Place:
Wall Middle School

"Marine Pollution"

Team Members: Mr. Jim Burkitt, Chloe Baskin, Sarah Baskin, James Ramsay, Maria Spannos, Victoria Strain

Lesson Plan Summary: Through a combination of PowerPoint, group work, and lectures, students will learn the different types of pollution including point and nonpoint, chemical, thermal, or marine. Students will learn ways in which they can positively impact marine pollution.

Community Service Summary: Two monofilament recycling bins have been constructed and are going to be placed in areas locally where there are many recreational fishermen. Our team pledges to empty, sort, and mail out all monofilament for one year. In addition we have developed a data collection sheet and survey to evaluate the effectiveness of our project.

Top of Page