St. Agnes School honored in national scientific competition

May 1, 2008

The Worm Masters Team uses Vermicomposting to help our earth

Avon, New York — Bright ideas, solid research and great teamwork won four students from St. Agnes School in Avon a berth as semifinalists in the Christopher Columbus Awards, a nationwide program that challenges middle-school students to explore opportunities for positive change in their communities.

Through research, the students learned about global warming and how excess trash contributes to global warming through the release of methane gas. These students believe the amount of trash in the world today is everyone’s problem and that if we don’t come up with a solution soon – our children may not have a world like we know today to live in when they grow up. Through the use of worms – or vermicomposting – these students hope to reduce the amount of waste in our world. By educating others and encouraging them to compost, they plan to reduce waste and make the world a better place for our families.

That’s the hope of this team of 6th graders— Grace Brinkerhoff, Liam Coyne, Jaclyn Hayes and Haley Moran, and their teacher Melissa Savino. The students built a worm composting bin at St. Agnes School and have been composting lunch trash and coffee filters for about 2 months. Their classroom has been using the rich soil created by composting to help their classroom plants grow even better – and they have already noticed results!

These students hope to make a difference in their community by helping the environment!

A panel of community leaders, scientists and experts in science education judged this idea as one of the top 30 Christopher Columbus Awards entries in the U.S.

A Chance to Compete at Walt Disney World®

On May 2, eight of the 30 semifinalist teams will be named winners of an all-expense-paid trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort, where they will compete in the Christopher Columbus Award’s National Championship, June 16-20, 2008. Rewards include $16,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds for the top two national winners. In addition, one team will bring home the $25,000 Columbus Foundation Community Grant to help bring its idea to life in the community.

The finalists also will attend the Christopher Columbus Academy, a custom-designed educational program. Conducted by scientists, engineers and educators, the program reveals the science and technology behind the thrills and excitement of Epcot® and the Magic.