In support of environmental education at the intersection of innovation and technology
GRANT PROGRAM SUMMARY
EcoTech grants in the amount of $2,500 are awarded to schools or non-profits organizations for the purpose of engaging children in inquiry-based projects in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) that use innovation, biomimicry / nature-based design, or new uses for technology to address environmental problems in their communities. The EcoTech Grant cycle is currently closed and will open again in October 2016.
EXAMPLES OF ECOTECH PROJECTS
Robo Ponic Kids /New York, New York
Mr. Paoli did research that laid the groundwork for his 7th and 8th grade students to design and construct a custom Aquaponics system in their school and raise edible fish and vegetation. Arduino units were used to monitor and feed the fish using basic robotic programming. Sensors were also used to test the water chemistry in the fish tanks. Click here to learn more
Using Technology to Investigate Urban Ponds / Portland, Maine
Students observed, collected data, conducted research, and wrote about the water quality, plants, animals and other living things in Baxter Woods and Evergreen Cemetery near Lincoln Middle School. In order to accurately assess and count species inside the ponds, students built and used underwater robots with cameras. Students worked with teachers and parents in their after school Green Team club to build two robots. In science classes, students learned about water quality and how to test it, and established a baseline pH measurement for water near the surface of the pond in Baxter Woods. Click here to learn more
Eco-Tech Underwater Robotics Club: Bringing Ocean Pollution Awareness Above the Surface / Newport Beach, CA
The key technology features of the program include the construction of underwater robots (ROVs) to film pollution below the surface of the ocean. Students will film along the coast in Orange County, as well as before-and after- the annual underwater cleanup event on Catalina Island. Students will learn how to use editing software to consolidate and organize footage captured from cleanup and awareness events. These videos will be used to empower others to understand ocean-related issues and steps they can take to help.
Restoring Native Plants: Kanab High School with Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, UT
Students from Kanab High School, located near Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM) in Utah, spent the Fall of 2012 collecting seeds from a native plant species and grew seedlings during the winter in their greenhouse. When Spring came, the students weeded out invasive plant species at GSENM and planted the drought-tolerant native plant seedlings they had grown to restore wildlife habitat. GPS/GIS devices allowed students to map the location of plants and monitor their survival. Click here to learn more
Fabulous Filtering Fungi: Kwiaht Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish Sea, WA
At a high school in the San Juan Islands, WA, high school students were challenged with the issue of addressing motor oil on roadways that was coming from increased eco tourism. The motor oil was washing off roadways and into the bay and was affecting keystone species, such as herring, in the Puget Sound. In response, the students worked with the Kwiaht Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish Sea to identify, collect and analyze the oil absorbency of various local mushroom species. Then they inoculated straw bales and wood chips with the most effective mushrooms to create a filtering barrier between the road and the ocean. Click here to learn more
Aquaponics and Remote Sensing in Hawaii
Thanks to a Captain Planet Foundation grant and the Ko’olauloa Educational Alliance Corp 40 Students at Kahuku High in Kahuku, Hawaii learned how to use computer arduinos (microcontrollers with software) and sensors. The students tied the arduinos and sensors into an aquaponics system housed in an existing greenhouse next to the school. The project included setting up a lab and using remote web cameras and sensors for transmitting data over the internet. They monitored the aquaponics system for optimal water flow, sunlight, temperature, pH, soil and fish. Click here to learn more