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Old April 18th, 2012, 09:13 AM
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Jojo Jojo is offline
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Arrow Palm Beach Zoo News

West Palm Beach, FL, April 17, 2012 – Students from four area elementary schools will be exhibiting their achievements as “Young Stewards of the Environment”, a science learning initiative developed by the Palm Beach Zoo Education Division and funded by The Environmental Fund at the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. During the past six months, they have created, installed, observed, and documented projects that have had a direct impact on the environment. Their results will be shared with the public on Saturday, April 21st, at the annual Palm Beach Zoo “Party for the Planet” Earth Day Celebration. The time for the event is 11:00 a.m. in the Peggy S. Brown Pavilion on zoo grounds.

The four projects are:

Palmetto Elementary School – Students implemented a recycling effort at their school and put together video commercials with the theme, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recreate.” They plan to display their videos on the school district’s website in order to persuade others to recycle.

Berkshire Elementary School – The team measured student, class, and family water waste, and applied water-conserving efforts at home and at school. They wrote and are planning to perform a song at Party for the Planet to communicate to others how important water is. They also created posters to hang around their school telling others about their project. As a last effort, they are going to paint rain barrels to put in their school garden to help conserve water.

Hobe Sound Elementary School – Students measured estuary water quality, and the amount of water wasted at their school. They implemented water-conserving efforts at their school, and painted rain barrels to collect much-needed water for their school butterfly garden. They hope the rain barrels will communicate with and inspire the rest of the school and the larger community to join them in conserving water.

Pioneer Park Elementary School – Students turned their empty garden boxes into beautiful backyard habitats to encourage native butterflies and birds to make their home there. Students mapped out goals and came up with the design of the habitat. They hope to encourage other students and teachers to learn about native plants and animals so they can be sure to save Florida’s habitats for future generations.

The Young Stewards of the Environment program is a conservation education project that was created to focus on a limited number of fourth-grade students in four selected Title I elementary schools in Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Students participated in the selection of project that would improve the environment either at or near their school, such as xeriscaping landscaping or improving irrigation. Priority was given to projects that address water quality, quantity, conservation and/or preservation. Zoo educators worked with the schools to ensure that the project was relevant, manageable within the time frame, and had the potential for successful outcomes. A zoo education specialist served as an educator, project coach and mentor for each site. After studying the specific environmental challenges in the school sites or immediate area, zoo staff assisted the students in developing and implementing a plan of action. The students logged their research findings and mapped their progress over the course of the school year. They took photographs, created posters, wrote songs, and produced “public service announcements” on video to document their work. At the Party for the Planet, participating students will have the satisfaction of presenting their accomplishments to family and friends. The zoo will post the finished projects on its web site and participating schools will be asked to display them after Earth Day and into the following school year. Permanent signs will be placed at the project sites to commemorate the environmental stewardship of the participating schools and students as well as the generosity of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.

For more information contact Claudia Harden at claudia@palmbeachzoo.org, (561) 214-1667. Photo ops of students with their science fair projects and the awards ceremony will be available.
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