From a May 8, 2020, Everett Public Schools News Release.
Engineering design projects make environmental upgrades to an existing place
Kirsten Judd’s combined third and fourth grade class at Penny Creek Elementary was assigned a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) project in April to design environmental upgrades to an existing place.
Students had the option to enter their ideas into a contest sponsored by the Snohomish Conservation District in celebration of Earth Day.
Nate Ottem and Kylah Molony were in the top three in the third to fifth grade category.
“We were once again overjoyed with the submissions, interest, talent and creativity of the youth around our district,” said Snohomish Conservation District’s Washington Service Corps /Americorps Youth Educator Rosemary Hopson.
Students learned basic environmental terminology through a series of daily videos to help illustrate how various actions can help the environment.
Hopson added, “I am really proud of all of them, I think a lot of hard work went into these projects.”
Students built their favorite place and then were challenged to make it a green building. For example, they could add solar panels, rain barrels, a rain garden and more. Each student was asked to make three “green” improvements and one “fun”improvement to their favorite place.
Tied for second place in the contest, Kylah Molony chose to build her grandma’s house and add “an indoor and outdoor garden for food, a beehive to pollinate the garden, a compost pile, three recycling bins for paper, plastic and glass, a yard waste bin, a chicken coop for eggs, a bunny house, solar panels, a cooking pit and a dessert tree for fun.”
Third place winner Nate Ottem chose to build the baseball field in Mill Creek where he sometimes has his games. The green improvements he added were a solar-powered bat recycler, equipment exchange station, plant-based food stand, electric charger for vehicles, solar-panels on the dugouts; and for fun, a car launcher over fire that lands in a net.
Nate said, “I picked these improvements because they are the ones I liked that help the Earth and go good at a baseball field.”
Judd said, “This contest coincided perfectly with our first weeks of distance learning. It was a great way to honor the kids’ creativity and their love of engineering and design, while giving them a meaningful at home project. They did an amazing job!”
All the winning projects can be found on the Snohomish Conservation District website.
Nate Ottem's model of improved baseball field in Mill Creek where he sometimes has his games. Photo courtesy of Everett Public Schools.