By Nicole Grulke, The Alpena News Staff Writer
ALPENA - Students at Ella White in Bob Thomson's fifth grade class have successfully won $10,000 in DonorsChoose.org credits for their engineered lake trout delivery system project.
The project was entered into the challenge through DonorsChoose.org from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation called "Teach for the Planet." The challenge focused on innovative environmental science, climate change and sustainability projects. Projects were judged based on originality, student engagement, topical importance, rigor and innovative use of materials.
"In the process of looking for donations, we were accepted as a finalist in the 'Teach for the Planet' competition," Thomson said. "We were just trying to get funding for the parts we needed for our underwater robots, and now we have this $10,000 in credits from (DonorsChoose.org) to use."
Students have been working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to help restore lake trout populations in the area and are raising around 650 lake trout eggs in the classroom to release in Thunder Bay in spring. The delivery portion of the project was the main focus for students because they wanted to find a way to get the lake trout delivered directly to the reef and hopefully increase their chances of survival.
"The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation automatically covered half of the cost of the lake trout project just through us qualifying for the challenge, so that was a great start," Thomson said. "We just had to fund the other 50 percent, which was the reason we applied for 'Teach for the Planet' and posted the project on the website."
The project originally qualified for a half-off match offer, was selected as one of 15 semifinalists which earned the class $750 in DonorsChoose.org credits., and then was chosen as on of the three finalists at the elementary school level, winning the class an additional $2,000 in DonorsChoose.org credits. Now, as the winner, the class will receive $10,000 in DonorsChoose.org credits to use towards this project and future projects for he purchase of supplies, travel expenses and other project related expenses...
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