Project Reservoir would like to showcase what our 2014-15 STEM based teams did this year with an environmental and community education focus. Our teams were busy this year creating websites, social media sites, connecting with their community, making international connections with scientific experts through social media, came up with plans on changing their neighborhoods, the State of NJ, and the world. Our teams did that this by entering national STEM competitions like the Lexus Eco-Challenge, Exploravision, and Ecybermission. We hope to enter our next years teams in the same competitions, but also hope to find more!
This year one of our teams (Phrag Attack) continues focusing on probably the most common invasive plant species in New Jersey the Phragmite (Common Reed). Check out their innovative solutions to controlling phragmities and using it as a resource. They made contact with a group from Canada and worked on creating an international STEM competition to control invasive species like Phragmites. They continue to work hard on maintaining the world's first invasive species human maze designed and built by middle school students. http://phragmiteattack.weebly.com/.
Our lab hummed with the energy of Tilapia as Algae fighters and our team Super Tilapia Algae Exterminators (S.T.A.X.) is busy proving to the New Jersey’s Department of Fish and Game that they can design a way to safely put Tilapia in a body of water in NJ and they will control algae. They won the Lexus Eco-Challenge this year a first for our school and we hope to release Tilapia in the first ever state release in NJ for Tilapia in our solar powered floating algae control containment system. They also have legislation pending in our state regarding coverage of bodies of water by aquatic plant species and water based recreation. Check out their research and exciting discoveries at http://staxprojectreservoir.weebly.com/.
An intrepid group of girls on Project Reservoir the Composquitoes started working with composting in our lab, in class with students, at the reservoir and found through our lab and field work that mosquitoes are attracted to the by-products of composting Carbon Dioxide and heat. As a team they have been working on designing a one of a kind Composting Mosquito trap. Their trap composts, traps mosquitoes, and in one design works as a portable power source with a 35 watt panel. They were second place in NJ in Ecybermission and their project continues to have potential for future STEM competitions. Check out this hard working team the Composquitoes athttp://composquitos.weebly.com/.
Micro Algae is a world wide issue with the increase in the eutrophication of our water due to nutrient run-off and this team the Algae Extinguishers is working on it. They have discovered organisms that extinguish micro and macro algae in the lab. They are designed a way to place our tag team (Amphipods and Daphnia) in a containment filtration system that protects these organisms from predation and cleans water of algae in a natural way. Created a web based widget to track algae blooms with Google Earth and SeeClickFix, and create the world's first bio-filter for drinking using daphnia as filters, and they created an online guide in Spanish warning of dangers of Cyanobacteria blooms. They were winners in the first round of the Lexus Eco-Challenge as well. Algae Extinguishers at http://projectreservoirateam.weebly.com/.