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Sutter Scientists Win Hawaii Expedition

Sutter Academy Middle School science students took first place overall in the recent QuikSCience Challenge Competition 2006, sponsored by Quiksilver Inc. and the University of Southern California’s Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies. First prize for this year’s winning team is a week-long expedition to Hawaii to study marine habitat and the environmental issues that threaten its health. The seven-member Sutter Academy team will travel to Hawaii in late May with their hosts, the QuikSCience Challenge team members from USC. The QuikSCience Challenge invited teams of students and their teachers to conduct a public service activity involving the oceans. They created lesson plans about their ocean activity. Sutter’s winning team includes eighth graders Jazmin Alvarez, Karen Ferrer, Sergio Garcia Jr., Branda Im, Joanna Olmos, Angelica Pineda, Brenda Rodriguez and their teacher, Adrienne Sandstedt. They presented lessons to Sutter students about the long-term impact of litter on beaches and the ocean. Using Sutter Academy’s location near the L.A. River, they sent the message that litter left on the streets and playgrounds ends up in storm drains and is washed down the river to the beach and ocean. They wrote and produced an educational video, conducted a week-long Awareness Campaign at their school, "Trash and Water Don’t Mix," held a school-wide logo hunt with prizes, and an after-school neighborhood clean-up with the City of Long Beach Litter Abatement Program. More than 400 Sutter students, parents, staff, teachers and administrators participated in the clean-up. Lesson plans, written and presented by the team, increased students’ awareness of the adverse impact of marine debris and the importance of preserving the planet’s vast natural resource, the oceans. The team presented a DVD of their project to the judges at USC.