2013-14 Care for Our Earth Grants

The 2013-14 Care for Our Earth Grant program was generously funded by:

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Air/Energy-Related Projects

Water-Related Projects

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Recycling Ambassadors

Aimey Adams, Carol Gillespie
Tommie Kunst Jr. High
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students become ‘Recycling Ambassadors’ as they provide education to other students and school staff on recyclable products and promote paper and plastic recycling on campus. Money earned from the recycling drive will be used to pay for assemblies that promote environmental awareness.

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Save Water

Mindy Amaral
Miller School
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students visit the local wastewater treatment plant and learn about water conservation and the treatment process for wastewater. They then participate in a science project that deals with water conservation.

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Pedal Power

Charlotte Belyea
Tommie Kunst Jr. High School
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students participate in the youth safety program Pedal Power, which teaches students bicycle safety, handling skills, traffic skills, bicycle maintenance, and route mapping. Graduates of the program get to keep their donated, re-furbished bicycles, provided by bici-centro. Students become safe, competent, and knowledgeable cyclists.

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Where Does Our Water Go?

Kristin Anderson
Maple High School
Lompoc Unified School District

As part of a school-wide conservation project, students learn about water-where it comes from, where it goes, and what can be done to conserve it. Students also take a field trip to the local water facility to learn what they can do to conserve water both at school and at home.

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Student Energy Savers

Candis Cuevas
Olive Grove Charter School
Los Olivos School District

Students log the energy they use over a three-day period and determine ways they can reduce energy consumption. Students become “energy savers” and work to reduce the energy that is being used at home each week. Students receive “energy bucks” if they were able to successfully reduce consumption at the end of each week. The energy bucks can be turned in for energy-saving compatible prizes.

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Food Grows Where Water Flows

John Avila
Carpinteria High School
Carpinteria Unified School District

Students build a hydroponic system using irrigation lines. The system uses recycled water to nourish student-planted native plants. The plants are sold at the local farmers market, where students host a booth and educate the public on water conservation.

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Apple Trees for Air

Kelly Davis
Pioneer Valley High School
Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District

Students read Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel, Speak, in which trees symbolize the positive and negative events in the narrator’s life. Students learn about trees and their ability to reduce air pollution. Students bring in tree seeds, such as those found in apples, to plant in the classroom garden. Once the seeds have germinated, students take them home to plant and nurture into young trees. Students are encouraged to ask for permission to plant their trees in the community.

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California Native Plant Gardens/Arboretum

Laura Baines
Pioneer Valley High School
Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District

Laura is creating an educational, on-campus arboretum of California native plants for students and visitors to enjoy, complete with species identification and natural history information. Laura and her students build the arboretum and educate visitors on California native plants, vegetation zones, life cycles, biomes, and native soil replenishment.

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The Green and Economical Ride to Independence

Glenn Goldin
Santa Maria High School
Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District

Students in the Transitional/Vocational Program use the local public transportation provider, SMAT to access work and volunteer sites, and other transitional services in the community. Students calculate and graph the difference between estimated cost and consumption of fuel-private versus public transportation over a 30-day period.

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Water Wise

Kim Baron
Washington School
Santa Barbara Unified School District

Students learn about the fresh water supply on Earth and complete a three-day water-use tally to determine how much water they use at home, school, and in public. The data is compiled to determine the amount of water used by each student and the class as a whole. The class discusses how much of that water is wasted. Students use their newfound knowledge to create posters that are hung around school to encourage the school community to reduce water consumption and waste.

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Open Streets/Calle Vivas!

Lee Ann Knodel
Santa Barbara High School
SBCEO ROP

Students of the Don’s Net Café join with BiciCentro to learn bike repair, street safety, and provide bikes to children who do not have access to them. Additionally, students are involved with planning the Open Streets/Calles Vivas! event in Santa Barbara. At the event, students act as traffic guides and event ambassadors, working to promote bicycle ridership in Santa Barbara County.

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Water Wise & Monte Vista

Tairy Birkley
Monte Vista School
Hope School District

Second and sixth graders buddy up to educate students about ways to conserve water and the importance of having clean water every day. Students create posters, conduct classroom presentations, and create segments for Monte Vista’s news show, Monte Vista News. Students also create Water Wise bracelets and add stickers to re-usable water bottles to promote the occurrence of students bringing their reusable bottles to school.

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Disposable to Durable: A Watershed Moment

Lisa Lisle
Brandon School
Goleta Union School District

Students participate in Explore Ecology’s “Student Ocean Stewards” program where they learn about watersheds and how litter makes its way to the ocean. As part of the program, students work on a project that focuses on reducing marine debris by educating their peers and local community to replace disposable plastic products with durable items. Students collaborate to develop an educational website that promotes durable water bottles and waste-free lunch packing.

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Watershed and Water Conservation in Santa Barbara County

Laura Branch
Righetti High School
Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District

Students learn about catchment basins, reservoirs and runoff in Santa Barbara County. They construct stream models to learn how urbanization can affect the water runoff of a city and have significant implications for the quantity of fresh, clean water that is available for use by humans, fish and wildlife. Students are challenged to find realistic solutions to this problem and brainstorm ways to conserve the amount of fresh water they have in their local area.

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Oh, No: Ozone!

Riccardo Magni
Pioneer Valley High School
Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District

Students use an Aeroqual air meter to monitor ground level ozone in the school parking lot. They compare levels on hot days, cold days, busy days, and empty days. The data is compiled and recommendations are made based on the findings.

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Where Does Our Water Go?

Melinda Darway
Maple High School
Lompoc Unified School District

Students research where their water comes from, where it goes, and what can be done to conserve it. They take a field trip to the local water facility to take a tour and learn how they can reduce water consumption. Their findings support their efforts in implementing a school-wide water conservation project where they provide education to the school population on water consumption and conservation.

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Pedal Power: Traffic Solutions

Julia Pustizzi
Fesler Jr. High School
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students participate in the Pedal Power program offered through the Santa Barbara County Bicycle Coalition. Students learn how to ride safely and effectively on the road. Graduates earn a bicycle, helmet, lock, light, and a tire patch kit. Students become equipped with the skills, knowledge, and abilities to safely bike to school and around the community.

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Permaculture Project

Kevin Gleason
Dos Pueblos High School
Santa Barbara Unified School District

Permaculture is a design system that creates human systems that mimic the beauty, efficiency, and sustainability found in natures patterns. Permaculture students create and maintain a productive “Food Forest” made up of fruit trees and native plants. The fruits and herbs from the garden are free for any student to pick and snack on.

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Making Connections

Deanne Rosing, Catherine Ulrich
Home School Program
Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District

Home School students learn how to use public transportation, reading and deciphering bus and train schedules. They then lead a trip from Guadalupe to Santa Barbara using the train and Santa Barbara MTD system as transportation. The goal is to reduce anxiety associated with the use of public transportation and increase ridership, thereby reducing the number of vehicles on the road and, therefore, decreasing air pollution.

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Water Treatment

Chad Hartford
Benjamin Foxen School
Blochman Union School District

Students get a firsthand view of the physical, chemical, and biological processes involving sewage remediation as they build their own water treatment plant, complete with filtration, aeration, and bioremediation.

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Lights Out!

Richard Rowe
Taylor School
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students produce grade-level presentations to educate the school community on how to reduce energy consumption at school and at home. Pamphlets are sent home with each student to remind them of strategies we can all implement to reduce electric and gas consumption, and students work to remind and assist teachers with shutting down computers and electrical devices every afternoon.

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Mission Possible

Andrea Hernandez
Liberty School
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students make it their mission to educate the school community on the importance of conserving water and saving the natural resources of our planet. Students set up a booth at lunch to discuss the importance of saving water at school, home, and offer suggestions for what students can do to help.

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Earth Day Expo

Erika Satkoski
Pioneer Valley High School
Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District

Pioneer Valley High School hosts an annual Earth Day Expo and Celebration. ASB students emcee the rally with environmental information, eco-related games, and eco-prizes. Environmental vendors from around the county are invited to set up booths and talk with the school community about environmental issues, solutions, and services. Students participate in the Grocery Bag Project, where they decorate paper bags from local grocery stores with Earth Day messages. The decorated bags are sent back to each store for use on Earth Day to remind customers of the importance of saving our Earth’s natural and precious resources.

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We Are Water Reducers

Christine Jimenez
Tunnell School
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students conduct a school-wide campaign to remind the school campus the importance of saving water and how they can save water at school and at home.

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Joe Nightingale’s Green Team

Lisa Savaso
Joe Nightingale School
Orcutt Union School District

Students are assigned a classroom or office on campus to be in charge of collecting weekly recyclable materials from. They communicate with teachers and administrators to make sure their recycling needs are met. Grant funds are used to purchase post-consumer recycled classroom materials and supplies to help students see how their efforts can come full circle.

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5-Minute Shower Challenge

Andrea Lauderdale, David Nelson
Vieja Valley School
Hope School District

After learning about the water cycle and how water is a necessary part of our existence, students and their families conduct “The 5-Minute Shower Challenge” where they track the time they spend in the shower along with the amount of water they use. They then adjust their shower time to five minutes or less and re calculate the amount of water they use with the shorter shower times. Students discuss the implications of water consumption and conservation.

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Hapgood Conserves and Cares

Cindy Spangler
Arthur Hapgood School
Lompoc Unified School District

Students teach their peers to conserve energy by adding stickers to light switches and electrical outlets, reminding students and teachers to shut off the lights and turn off computers and other electrical devices when not in use. They also create signs to highlight the recycling bins around campus in an effort to promote the recycling of plastic, paper, and other recyclable materials instead of trashing them.

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Save Water for Life

Maria Licón
Peabody Charter School
Santa Barbara Unified School District

Students learn about the different habitats and animal life found at Lake Cachuma, and about the importance of water and that all living things need this resource to survive. Students take a field trip to Lake Cachuma and hear from a presenter from the Watershed Resource Center who talks about how the water is transported from Lake Cachuma to our homes, and how it is treated for use. The lesson also stresses the importance of ways students can conserve water and become Water Wise.

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Where I Live

Cheryl Spence
Benjamin Foxen School
Blochman Union School District

Kindergarten students outline where there is energy and water use in their homes. The drawings are a discussion starter as to what young students can do to help reserve costs for their parents while at the same time saving precious natural resources.

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For The Love of Water

Stacey Lovell
Orcutt Academy K-8
Orcutt Union School District

After visiting Lake Cachuma to learn about our domestic water supply, students look for water waste at school and at home and identify ways to conserve this precious shared resource.

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Recycling to Save Lives

Jan Sprague
Mary Buren School
Guadalupe Union School District

Students in the Global Citizens Club conduct a recycling drive on campus where they collect and recycle plastic water bottles. The proceeds from the drive are used to purchase mosquito nets for families in Africa who are vulnerable to mosquito-borne Malaria.

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Water is the Staple of Life

Matt Makowetski
Maple High School
Lompoc Unified School District

Students examine water production and reclamation in the Lompoc Valley, including production, filtration, and waste management. They also visit neighboring localities to investigate their water facilities. Students produce public service announcements to share what they have learned with the public.

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Re-Usable Bottle Drive

Lourdes Torres
Hollister School
Goleta Union School District

Students track how many water bottles are saved through the installation of a new water filter at Hollister School. The results are broadcast through the school announcements, as students encourage their peers to bring in re-usable water bottles and make use of the new filter.

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Composting! The Solution to Sustainable Soil and Water

Judith Morris
Arellanes Jr. High
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students are introduced to composting as a way to conserve water resources. After participating in several activities and lessons regarding composting and water conservation, students create posters that reflect the message that composting is a solution to sustainable water and soil. The posters are entered in a national poster competition where students can win a savings bond if their poster wins.

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Off The Bus and On The Trail

Cuneyt Yolar
Taylor School
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students campaign to encourage their peers to ride their bikes to school. Maps that include safe trails near the school campus are passed out, and presentations are made to generate awareness and interest. Students who choose to ride their bikes instead of taking the school bus or personal vehicle are rewarded with special eco-friendly prizes.

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Fesler Ecology Club Oso Flaco Water Quality

Michael Schaefer
Fesler Jr. High
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Fesler Ecology Club students take a field trip to the Oso Flaco Preserve where they learn about the water cycle and the importance of wetlands and riparian environments. They look at the way water is used in the adjacent farmlands, and how nitrogen fertilizers can effect the oxygen levels in the coastal wetland habitat. The trip is used as inspiration for ideas to conserve and improve the water quality at Oso Flaco and in the greater coastal region.

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Electrifying Change

Michael Zarling
Taylor School
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students determine the number of LED vs. fluorescent bulbs their households are using. As bulbs burn out, students encourage their parents to use LED lights instead of fluorescent bulbs. A school-wide competition is carried out to see which grade level can have the largest increase in usage of energy-saving bulbs.

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Make It Right! Turn Out The Light!

Susan Zink
Hollister School
Goleta Union School District

In an effort to make families more aware of wasted energy, students record how many times they turn off the lights in empty rooms at home. The results are tallied and monthly findings are presented at a school assembly.

Joint (Energy and Water) Projects

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Tell the World How We CAN Save It

John Dent
Dos Pueblos High School
Santa Barbara Unified School District

Students create videos that promote water conservation, record traffic patterns, and promote energy-usage awareness. The videos air on the class’ daily news show. Cameras record drop off and pickup times at school to allow the traffic team to analyze the traffic patterns and propose ways to improve traffic flow and increase carpooling and shared transportation. Students also conduct and record research on current energy usage and water consumption on campus and identify ways to make improvements.

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Student Council City of Lompoc Field Trip

Marna Ford
Miguelito School
Lompoc Unified School District

Students in the Student Council at Miguelito School visit the City of Lompoc and meet with the Departments of Water and Electricity to learn how to conserve water and reduce electricity use on campus. Students then present their findings to the students and faculty at Miguelito School, and work to implement changes on campus regarding water and energy conservation.

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LivingWise

Beth Scott
Monte Vista School
Hope School District

Students participate in the LivingWise Program where they learn about energy efficiency and conservation. As part of the program, students receive a kit that includes various materials to use at home to improve energy efficiency and reduce water consumption and waste.