WOMAN OF INFLUENCE CONTINUES TO AFFECT CHANGE WITH 6TH GRADERS at Walter Douglas Elementaryby Hot Off The Press (Release) on Nov. 19, 2012, under Press Releases
TUCSON, AZ – November 2012 – Jane Poynter, one of several 2012 honorees of the Inside Tucson Business Women of Influence, continues to affect change through the implementation of a rain garden at Walter Douglas Elementary.
As President of Blue Marble Institute, a nonprofit whose mission is devoted to science and sustainability, Jane’s goal is to show students that science is meaningful and fun especially through hands-on projects. Jane makes all of this possible through a Blue Marble project called Champions for Change (C4C).
“It’s about breaking down barriers for kids in science,” said Ms. Poynter when asked about why the program focuses on elementary and middle school youth. “It’s about making science relevant and interesting to students at a critical age when they begin to form choices about future careers and education.” With Jane’s leadership, C4C has brought together a 6th grade classroom at Walter Douglas Elementary, a C4C school, and Watershed Management Group to collaborate on building a rain garden on school grounds.
The effort initiated with Andrea Meyer, 6th grade teacher at Walter Douglas. Andrea understood the power of project-based learning when she contacted C4C to inquire about doing a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related project with her students. “I really want my students to see themselves as active participants in the world around them and to see simple things that they can do to help,” said Ms. Meyer, “they are all very excited to be participating in something like this.” Thirty-one students at Walter Douglas and a handful of volunteers will help in the installation of earthen basins and trees on November 16th.
“As a principal, this project has meant that we can bring a community partner and the school together to work on a project that not only benefits our campus but also our students,” said Tamara McAllister, Principal of Walter Douglas Elementary of the Flowing Wells Unified School District. With the help of Tory Syracuse from Watershed Management Group, students will be taught the basics of passive and active water harvesting with a focus on the importance of water in our Sonoran Desert environment. Student-planted trees will beautify the campus and provide much needed shade and in the long-term will provide a demonstration area for future students to learn about water harvesting.
“The best part of these collaborative projects is being able to provide resources for schools to teach students about the importance of water conservation and appropriate vegetation in a positive, hands-on way,” said Ms. Syracuse. “Students learn by doing, and will be able to see the progress of a project they were involved in for years to come.”
“The planting of the trees will add another element of beauty and nature to our playground, as well as provide shade on those hot summer days,” said Principal McAllister. “Having 6th grade in particular involved lends a sense of ‘legacy’ in that they will leave our campus knowing they have helped to make it a better place for the generations of students to follow.”
ABOUT CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE: Champions for Change (C4C) provides educators the tools and resources they need to engage students in unique science-based learning opportunities. C4C uses world-renowned athletes and their stories to draw students into science and language arts, as well as hands-projects in their schools and communities. These role models- sports and community leaders who have chosen to give back – inspire youth to become their own champions for change: change within themselves and in their communities for a healthier planet. C4C is a proven program of the Tucson-based nonprofit Blue Marble Institute
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