Autumn 2019 Newsletter- look at the student projects implemented!
On September 20, MERITO Foundation staff, partners and volunteers hosted fourteen elementary school teachers during MERITO Academy’s Blue Green Schools Project (BGSP) teacher training. Teachers were given access to curricula, NGSS standards, and participated in several hands-on activities. The MERITO Academy's Blue Green School Project is a project-based earth and ocean science program for 4th - 7th grade students. The Project promotes behaviors beneficial to the environment among participating students by immersing them in environmental and conservation stewardship activities in their schools and at local watersheds and coastal habitats. BGSP empowers students to actively contribute to the mitigation of region’s drought, flood risk, and wildfires through their own authored projects proposals aimed at conserving water and reducing waste at their school campuses, and/or protect local watersheds and aquatic ecosystems. The goal of the BGSP is to insure implementation of the most effective proposals authored by students in 5 school campuses.
On October 4, nine teachers from middle and high schools across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, participated in a separate day-long training for the EECCOA program. A huge thank you to our guest speakers and volunteers for helping with inspiring and supporting our teachers. The EECCOA Program is also a project-based learning program aligned to NGSS standards for older students, grades 8th - 12th grade levels. EECCOA empowers students to address climate change and ocean acidification by providing them with content and research tools to design projects that achieve Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reductions on campus. During our fall trainings, we heard many impressive stories describing how students who have gone through our programs are now pursuing an environmental career. Teachers who work with special populations, such as ‘newcomers,’ express how inquiry-based activities offered through MERITO, offer differentiated learning opportunities, which complement different learning styles.
MERITO Welcomes New Board Member!!
Mohammed A. Hasan, a veteran environmental leader in Ventura county with 45 years of experience dealing with various environmental issues and projects, has joined the MERITO Foundation board. Mr. Hasan, principal engineer and owner of the civil and environmental firm Hasan Consultants in Ventura, has served in many nonprofit organizations in the county. We are so pleased to have him join our Board!
Trip to Channel Islands
On November 19, twenty-four teachers participating in our 2019-2020 programs and community partners join Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, UCSB and USC scientists on an educational expedition on the RV Shearwater to Santa Rosa Island, to participate in ecological and oceanographic research, monitoring and education.
805-Startups Growth and Innovation Fair
The MERITO Foundation will join other area nonprofits at the December 12th Growth and Innovations Fair. This group grows entrepreneurial ecosystems to develop more authentic relationships in the for-profit and non-profit communities. For more information about the Fair, please follow the Eventbrite RSVP Link.
Students Innovation in Action! EECCOA Project Implementation Update
We are excited to announce that an energy conservation project proposed by students in Ms. Mendez's class at Anacapa Middle School has been implemented as a part of Ventura Unified School District's on-going commitment to sustainability. During the 2018-19 school year, students in Ms. Mendez’s class who were participating in the EECCOA Challenge 2019, calculated potential electricity savings by installing sensors for the classrooms that automatically shut off the lights when not in use. Great minds think alike, because Ventura Unified School District Facilities Maintenance staff were set to install a similar device over the summer. Students returned to class this fall excited to see their project had been implemented!
EECCOA Challenge 2019 1st Place winners "Bottles for Profit," from Jonata Middle School in Buellton are excited to be implementing their project this year. Students identified a business opportunity that would reduce the number of plastic bottles ending up in the trash and collected funds to support the project last June before moving on to high school.
This school year, a new group of students have taken the project on at their school by purchasing containers so they can collect and recycle bottles. The students said that one of their main motivations was when they learned about microplastics in the ocean while participating in the MERITO Foundation’s programs. The funds collected will be used to buy science supplies, explained their teacher, Marie Chavez.