Photo Credit: Laura Senteno
With students and teachers across the country working to educate the public about the importance of properly disposing pharmaceuticals and personal-care products, Sea Grant has decided to shine the spotlight on 20 student projects that have excelled in this area.
                            
“We want to highlight exemplary projects that demonstrate the best approaches for helping citizens understand this issue,” said Robin Goettel, IISG associated director for education. “This contest gives students the opportunity to be recognized for their teamwork and resourcefulness.”
Pharmaceuticals and personal-care products can impact the environment and can end up in local water sources if they are disposed of incorrectly, such as flushing medicine down the toilet. In fact, a 2008 Associated Press investigation found pharmaceuticals in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans.
To be eligible for the contest, students must be in 5th-12thgrade in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or New York.
On the entry form, teachers should explain how the students chose the project, how they researched the issue, how the projected was planned, how the plan was implemented, and how the students evaluated the project’s effectiveness.
Each project will be judged on organization, scientific accuracy, a concise message, sources, originality, as well as proper grammar and spelling. The 20 winners will be selected and announced by June 8, with a prize of a $100 education resource gift certificate.
All entries must be submitted electronically no later than May 24th to Goettel at goettel@illinois.edu. Visit here for more details on how to submit a project.
The idea for the contest was conceived by project leader Marti Martz, Pennsylvania Sea Grant coastal outreach specialist, but the contest is a collaboration of Sea Grant programs in Illinois-Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania.
The competition is funded by the U.S. EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant, “Undo the Great Lakes Chemical Brew,” which supports efforts to clean up toxic water, protect watersheds from polluted run-off, and more.