By: Nicole Grulke, The Alpena News Staff Writer
Ella White fourth-graders need votes to win
ALPENA - Ella White fourth grade students in Bob Thomson's class are in the running for $10,000 through a challenge from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation called "Teach for the Planet," and in order to win, the students are asking for the public to vote for their project online.
The foundation is partnering with DonorsChoose.org to identify the most innovative environmental science, climate change and sustainability projects. The students had two projects to make it into the semifinals, one about Shipwreck Discovery which earned another $750 in credits, and an engineered lake trout delivery system, which was chosen as a finalist and could win the grand prize. Projects are judged based on originality, student engagement, topical importance, rigor and innovative use of materials.
The students have been working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to help restore lake trout populations in the area, and currently are raising around 650 lake trout eggs in the classroom to release in spring. In the past few years, the students have released the lake trout on the surface, which left around 20 feet of open water for the trout to swim in order to reach safety in reefs set up in the area. Because of that distance, the students couldn't determine how many of the trout actually reached the safety of the reef, therefore, they decided to find a way to release those fry directly onto the reef. This is the main focus of the engineered lake trout delivery system project...