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City of Fairfax Schools Honored at Environmental Showcase

City of Fairfax Schools were honored at the NoVa Outside School Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS) on Wednesday, April 24th. The showcase, held at George Mason University in partnership with Agrium’s Caring for the Watershed, celebrated students, teachers, schools and non-profits in their environmental stewardship and efforts. Attended by over 350 elementary, middle and high school students from over 40 schools, the day long event showcased student work and projects in a variety of environmental areas. Groups presented projects and participated in activities such as robotics, renewable energy techniques and learned about oil spill clean up.

Lanier Middle School (LMS) Eco-Team won first place in the Agrium’s Caring for the Watershed contest. Ten finalists presented proposals for watershed related projects based at their school. Students were judged on background knowledge, feasibility and creativity of the project.

“Students participated in this contest with great enthusiasm and passion,” said Faiza Alam, Special Education Science Teacher at Lanier Middle School.”They stayed after school for many days researching and preparing. The students identified the problem, collected and analyzed data and proposed a plan to fix the issue. It was a great experience to see students connect to their learning to real life issues and be such great environmental stewards.”

“Winning first place in the Agrium’s Caring for our Watersheds Contest is a major achievement for Lanier’s Eco-team,” said Dr. Scott Poole, principal at LMS. “Student teams from across Northern Virginia submitted proposals, and Lanier’s idea was chosen as best by distinguished panel of knowledgeable judges. I am proud that our students are doing so much to help our environment and school while learning a great deal at the same time.”

Daniels Run Elementary School’s Eco-Action Team was one of six schools to earn the NoVa Outside Green School Award for their presentation of ongoing work. Students dressed as recycling bins to highlight their waste reduction efforts, one of the initiatives they introduced at DRES. Other projects by DRES students include a vernal pool, composting, donations of food to a local food bank, submerged aquatic vegetation and creating a series of Earth Day videos with ‘green tips’ for the students and their families. All students in all grade levels at DRES participate in at least one environmental project each school year in addition to whole-school activities such as recycling and lessons in the vegetable garden.

“I am really proud of how well our students represented Daniels Run Elementary School,” said Lori Huberman-Hayes, Science Technology Resource Teacher and Eco-Action Team leader. “They were able to give so many details about all of our projects and they spoke with such pride of our school. The students really care about our environment and want it to be healthy place for plants, animals and people.”

“We are so proud off all the students that came to the Showcase at George Mason University,” said Elaine Tholen, NoVa OUtside Co-Founder. “Student ‘Green Teams’ from across the region had the opportunity to showcase projects they’ve been working on to reduce energy use, to increase plant and animal biodiversity on the school grounds and to decrease the amount of waste their school generates – just to name a few.”

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