gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 38

MOUNT MADONNA SCHOOL
State And National Environmental Awards
ABOVE ( l-r ): Matt Rodriguez , California Secretary for Environmental Projection ; Jessica Cambell , MMS fifth grade and elementary science teacher ; Mary Supriya McDonald , MMS head of school ; Jenni Leach , MMS director of Lower School ; and Nate Rockhold , former MMS fifth grade co-teacher .
Environmental education that engages students as community change-makers is a hallmark of the curriculum at Mount Madonna School ( MMS ). Recently , the efforts of MMS students were recognized statewide and nationally .
The Seed of Flame , a STEM project undertaken by seventh grade students , was one of 16 finalists nationwide to receive a $ 10,000 prize through the 2016-17 air and climate Lexis Eco Challenge in February . Finalist teams are now participating in a chance to earn additional grants and scholarships .
“ Mount Madonna ’ s seventh grade has taken on this project in response to our changing climate ,” said science teacher Katrina Leni-Konig . “ We are engaging social media and art activism to raise awareness about local impacts , and to catalyze global action .”
The students launched a challenge on Instagram , @ seed _ of _ flame . The public is invited to post pictures of themselves or others hugging a tree , with the hashtag # hugatree . Selected photographs will be compiled into a public art exhibit .
The class is supporting the organization , Trees for the Future , through an online campaign at https :// donate . trees . org / seedOFflame . Their goal is to raise $ 640 , enough to help a family in Africa grow and maintain a forest garden , providing food security and enhancing environmental resources .
They have created a YouTube video , “ Seed of Flame Claymation ,” and are in the process of designing a video game . Also in the works is a week-long summer camp for middle school kids to learn about forest ecology and stewardship , to be held at MMS .
Inspired by the Loma Fire , a nearby wildfire that occurred in fall 2016 , the students developed a plan to benefit the local community by transforming a school greenhouse into a forest nursery to restore forests after wildfire , disease , and other human impacts .
Students began a small classroom seed bank , with seeds gathered from the forest surrounding their school . Once established , the forest nursery and seed bank will serve as an ongoing educational resource for the school and broader community . Currently the seed bank contains thousands of seeds , including acorn , redwood , manzanita , madrone , and coyote bush .
“ I love that we will be able to help the community restore what forest was lost in the fire ,” said seventh grader Alyssa Manzur .
TOP : Mount Madonna School fifth graders conduct a beach cleanup and microplastics survey as part of their class environmental project . ABOVE : Mount Madonna School seventh graders hug trees near their campus as part of a “# hugatree ” Instagram effort , @ seed _ of _ flame .
Students will soon germinate the seeds in their forest nursery . Once established , the plants will be transplanted to areas needing restoration at Mount Madonna , as well as coordinating with Cal Fire for a restoration project at the Loma Fire site .
To learn more about their project , visit sites . google . com / mountmadonna . org / theseedofflame /.
Elementary students recently received state accolades , with the presentation of the Governor ’ s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award ( GEELA ), celebrating the environmental education work of MMS fifth grade students for the last nine years !
MMS is one of 12 California organizations – and the only school – recognized with a 2016 GEELA , the state ’ s highest environmental honor , in a ceremony held January 19 in Sacramento .
“ I am extremely honored to be a part of Mount Madonna School ,” commented project mentor and teacher Jessica Cambell , “ and to have worked with amazing teachers like Nate Rockhold and [ the late ] Sri Gyan James McCaughan , to create an award-winning program that allows students to find passion in using their voice to create positive change within the world !”
“ This year ’ s GEELA recipients are demonstrating the creativity and collaboration that make California a leader in protecting our environment ,” said CalEPA Secretary Matthew Rodriquez . “ They stand out as examples for how sustainable practices go hand-in-hand with economic and organizational success .”
Following the ceremony Cambell was also presented with a certificate from the California State Assembly , recognizing MMS ’ GEELA achievement presented from Assemblyman Mark Stone , representative of the 29th Assembly District .
PHOTOS BY KATRINA LENI-KONEG , SHMUEL THALER AND T . C . CLARK , CALRECYLE
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GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MARCH / APRIL 2017 gmhtoday . com
MOUNT MADONNA SCHOOL State And National Environmental Awards ABOVE (l-r): Matt Rodriguez, California Secretary for Environmental Projection; Jessica Cambell, MMS fifth grade and elementary science teacher; Mary Supriya McDonald, MMS head of school; Jenni Leach, MMS director of Lower School; and Nate Rockhold, former MMS fifth grade co-teacher. Environmental education that engages students as community change-makers is a hallmark of the curriculum at Mount Madonna School (MMS). Recently, the efforts of MMS students were recognized statewide and nationally. The Seed of Flame, a STEM project undertaken by seventh grade students, was one of 16 finalists nationwide to receive a $10,000 prize through the 2016-17 air and climate Lexis Eco Challenge in February. Finalist teams are now participating in a chance to earn additional grants and scholarships. “Mount Madonna’s seventh grade has taken on this project in response to our changing climate,” said science teacher Katrina Leni-Konig. “We are engaging social media and art activism to raise awareness about local impacts, and to catalyze global action.” The students launched a challenge on Instagram, @seed_of_flame. The public is invited to post pictures of themselves or others hugging a tree, with the hashtag #hugatree. Selected photographs will be compiled into a public art exhibit. The class is supporting the organization, Trees for the Future, through an online campaign at https://donate.trees.org/seedOFflame. Their goal is to raise $640, enough to help a family in Africa grow and maintain a forest garden, providing food security and enhancing environmental resources. They have created a YouTube video, “Seed of Flame Claymation,” and are in the process of designing a video game. Also in the works is a week-long summer camp for middle school kids to learn about forest ecology and stewardship, to be held at MMS. Inspired by the Loma Fire, a nearby wildfire that occurred in fall 2016, the students developed a plan to benefit the local community by transforming a school greenhouse into a forest nursery to restore forests after wildfire, disease, and other human impacts. Students began a small classroom seed bank, with seeds gathered from the forest surrounding their school. Once established, the forest nursery and seed bank will serve as an ongoing educational resource for the school and broad \[][]K\[HHYY[۝Z[\[وYY[Y[XܛY X[[]KXYۙK[[H\ 'HݙH]H[HXH[H[][]H\ܙH]ܙ\\[B\K8'HZY][ܘY\[\HX[\SH8(SԑSS8(SPTS[[XYۛHYܘY\ۙXHXXX[\[ZXܛ\X\^H\\وZ\\[\ۛY[B[ڙX PՑN[[XYۛH][ܘY\YY\X\Z\[\\\\وH8'Y]Yx'H[Yܘ[HYܝ YYٗٛ[YKY[[ۈ\Z[]HHYY[Z\ܙ\\\KۘH\X\Y B[[H[[Y\X\YY[\ܘ][ۈ][[XYۛK\[\˜ܙ[][][\H܈H\ܘ][ۈڙX]HXH\H]KX\[ܙHX]Z\ڙX \]]\˙KK[[XYۛKܙ\YY Bٙ[YK˂[[Y[\HY[X[HXZ]Y]HXY\]H\[][ۈوBݙ\ܸ&\[\ۛY[[[XۛZXXY\\]\ QSJK[X][B[\ۛY[[YX][ۈܚوSTYܘYHY[܈H\YX\BST\ۙHو L[YܛXHܙ[^][ۜ8$[HۛH8$Xۚ^Y]H MQSKH]x&\Y\[\ۛY[[ۛ܋[H\[[۞H[[X\H NB[Xܘ[Y[˂'H[H^[Y[HۛܙYHH\و[[XYۛH 8'H[Y[YڙXY[܈[XX\\XH[X[ 8'[]HܚY][X^[XX\›ZH]H[H]WHܚHX[[Y\X]Y[ܙX]H[]\ ][[œܘ[H][Y[[\[ۈ[\[Z\XHܙX]H]]H[B][Hܛx'B'\YX\&\QSHX\Y[\H[[ۜ][HܙX]]]H[Xܘ][ۈ]XZH[YܛXHHXY\[X[\[\ۛY[ 8'HZY[THXܙ]\HX]]”\]Y^8'^H[]\^[\\܈\Z[XHXX\[ Z[Z[]XۛZX[ܙ[^][ۘ[X\˸'B[H\[[۞H[X[\[\[Y]H\YX]HHB[YܛXH]H\[XKXۚ^[ST&HQSHXY][Y[\[YB\[X[X[X\ۙK\\[]]HوH ]\[XH\X PT TS M™Z^K