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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Louisville Male High School, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

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Louisville Male High School, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
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Registered: August 2019
City/Town/Province: Louisville
Posts: 1
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Last school year, I was in an incredible class, Advanced Ecology (taught by Mrs. Page), and we spent most of the first semester taking water samples at Beargrass Creek. I noticed large island formations consisting mostly of plastic bottles. I was truly astonished at the amount of water bottles that were found in the creek. My class positively identified 297 bottles in just four days (Sept 21, 2018, Oct 12, 2018, Nov 9, 2018, Nov 13, 2018). There were most likely an additional several hundred bottles, but we couldn't positively identify them. I was taken aback about how much of our trash made it into our waterways. I came back to school and realized that if I don't do something who will. I started to think of different ideas that I could turn into a project, and all of a sudden it hit me. I could build a boat. I ran with the idea and began researching different types of binding materials and how to make this boat float. I quickly realized that there was not a lot of information about how to do this so I began to come up with the plans. I designed the boat and how it would be built. I talked this over with my teacher Mrs. Page and a couple of my friends. I quickly formed a boat building team, Mrs. Page, Max Jones, Colby Kinser, and Haley Pucek. During the first week of February 2019, I placed 5 recycling bins around our school. My school has a rough population of 2,000 people. I quickly learned that a lot of the students did not use these bins, however I collected roughly 3,000 water bottles from the first week of February until May 27. We began to dive into different ways we could connect water bottles together. We tried using glue, but we quickly learned that the glue stuck to everything but the bottles. We then resorted to duct tape, and bought a mass amount of duct tape. Throughout this whole process we have used at least 57 rolls of duct tape. At first we connect the water bottles into bricks, made up of 6 bottles. We had three bottles going across then had three bottles below faced the other way (bottom of the bottles were facing each other). We then connected these bricks into strips, which were 7 bricks. We then used 8 strips to make a layer. In total we had 5 layers and 2 layers of wall, which added up to 2560 bottles. Next, we connected each layer together with zip ties. We ended up using roughly 1000 zip ties. We tested our boat on May 16, 2019 and officially sailed as participants in the Mayor's Hike, Bike, and Paddle on May 27, 2019. We were very successful, the water didn't even make it through the first layer. The purpose of this boat was to illustrate the issue of plastic pollution. 16.9 fluid ounces is creating a massive problem in our local, national, and global waterways. I want to bring awareness to the issue that if our school (rough population of 2,000 students) produced 3,000 (we produce a lot more, the students just throw them away in different places) in about 3.5 months, how many does the city of Louisville produce in that short of a time? Or the state of Kentucky? How about all of the U.S.? We also want people to know that everyone can make a difference. It doesn't have to be as big of a thing as a boat. I really wanted to do something that could change my community for the better. I wanted to inspire youth to be the change they want to see in the world. The boat will be displayed in the Louisville Science Center, where it will be displayed on its own exhibit.
Date: August 15, 2019 Views: 882 File size: 9.4kb, 373.9kb : 1242 x 2208
Hours Volunteered: 250
Volunteers: 5
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16 to 17 & 43
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