“Power Plants” Project Going Strong at MMS


Last fall, Mrs. Ripa and her students applied for and won the 2016 STEM Education Innovation Challenge Grant Competition through the Maine Space Grant Consortium. This project was titled “Power Plants!” to help remediate stormwater pollution in our school pond using native plants. With the help of our local environmental educator, Matthew Leahey from the BRCA, we learned about erosion, stormwater runoff, water testing, and wetland plant remediation. We built floating island prototypes and installed the models in our school pond, which survived the winter and surprisingly continued to grow and provide frog habitat over this summer.

This fall, Mrs. Ripa has continued this project with a new team of students. We have studied earth systems, identified the plants currently growing in our pond, tested the water for baseline data and will research native and invasive plant species in order to make the best plant choices to grow in our pond to increase biodiversity. The students will research, plan, plant and install the islands before the fall frost. We are working with Coast of Maine Organic Products and Longfellow’s Greenhouse to get the best soil and plants for the floating islands. Students are engaged in their learning and discovering the power of plants!

written by Amanda Ripa


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