Education

Press Releases

Science Class Gives Back To Community

2362a0361d1191750cec_BHSAPEnviroStudents015June2014.jpg
Bernards H.S. AP Environmental Science students Sarah Finn (left) and Kristen Mlynarski discuss the benefits of rain barrels, rain gardens, and other water-conserving landscape projects.  Along with fellow students Sarah DeMarco and Grace Lobo (not pictured), they focused their presentation on helping homeowners manage storm water runoff outside the home. Credits: Ed English
2362a0361d1191750cec_BHSAPEnviroStudents015June2014.jpg

For the second year in a row students from Bernards High School have worked together to turn lessons learned in the classroom into actions with important real-world impact.

Members of Karen DeTrolio’s Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science class used the last five weeks of their school year after their AP exam to research, produce, and deliver a series of presentations that help Bernardsville-area residents learn more about local water resources and take steps to protect them from damage.

On Wednesday, June 4, and Thursday, June 5, twelve student project groups took center stage in the high school’s Community Room to deliver their findings and solutions. The audience for this symposium included their peers; several teachers; community representatives from the Bernardsville Environmental Commission, the Bernardsville Green Team, the New Jersey Water Supply Authority, Eco-Schools USA, and the Great Swamp Watershed Association; and several VIPs, including Bernardsville Borough Councilmembers Janet Waite and Jeffrey DeLeo, Somerset Hills School District Superintendent Dr. Frances Wood and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Jennifer Shouffler, Bernards High School Principal Scott Neigel, and Assistant Principal Michael Corbett.

“Sitting in on Mrs. Detrolio's AP Environmental Science student presentations is always a highlight for me at the end of the school year,” said Principal Neigel. “These projects are a testament to the students' hard work and Mrs. Detrolio's dedication to her students as well as her passion for Environmental Science.”

Expectations for each project group were set high from the outset. As soon as students received their assignments they knew that the brochures, slides, research reports, and other materials they produced would become part of a current environmental education and outreach campaign known as “Watershed Friendly Living” that is produced and made available to local communities by the Great Swamp Watershed Association.

Hazel England, director of education and outreach at the Great Swamp Watershed Association, partnered with DeTrolio to design and implement the post-exam project, and served as an expert advisor to all of the groups.

“I have worked with these AP students on other projects throughout the year,” England said, “but these presentations were the real carrot for focusing their energy.”

“I think their positive, dedicated response to this assignment has everything to do with the fact that their work will actually be used to help local communities and improve the health of water in our watershed,” she added.

Students researched a variety of common environmental issues affecting the health and purity of water in the Great Swamp Watershed region and beyond. The final symposium included presentations on selecting water-efficient lawn and garden irrigation techniques, the benefits of installing water-conserving rain barrels, the importance of cleaning up after pets, selecting environmentally friendly pool maintenance techniques, creating water and wildlife friendly lawns and rain gardens, the benefits of choosing tap water over bottled water, selecting environmentally friendly household cleaning products, reducing household water use, and combatting storm water pollution and erosion by strategically replacing native trees lost during Hurricane Sandy.

“The most rewarding aspect of the project for me is watching students delve deeper into topics they learned about throughout the year,” said teacher Karen DeTrolio. “They came up with realistic strategies to address the issues, and I believe that is empowering.”

“It is inspiring for me to see the students so engaged,” she added, “especially with prom and graduation in the near future, and ‘senioritis’ in full affect.”

A panel of judges drawn from the staff of the Great Swamp Watershed Association and other community groups evaluated each presentation. Not only were those evaluations factored into each student’s final project grade, but they were also used to identify the best presentations delivered during each day of the symposium. Winners from both of the top groups received a small prize.

Dan Anthony, Alexandra Fehnel, Peri Levine, and Caleigh Cassidy took home top honors on the first day for “Going, Going, Gone,” a project exploring ways in which homeowners can select native trees for their yards in a way that balances environmental benefits, natural beauty, and potential damage from storms.

Laura Dominguez, Pat Loughlin, Brooke Savoye, and Jordan Shack won on the second day for “Why Becoming Disconnected Is a Good Thing”, a project exploring how homeowners can reduce their water bills and help reduce the negative effects of stormwater pollution by installing a household rain barrel.

“[Working on this project] was great.” said senior Alexandra Fehnel. “We researched an issue that affected our local community and looked into ways to resolve it, and we found several small and large ways to make a positive difference in our watershed."

 

About the Great Swamp Watershed Association: Founded in 1981, the Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the water and land of New Jersey’s 36,000-acre Great Swamp Watershed region. GSWA works with stakeholders in Morris County and Somerset County municipalities to maintain the health and beauty of open spaces, educate the public about regional environmental issues and to monitor and safeguard the five headwater streams — Loantaka Brook, Great Brook, Primrose Brook, Black Brook, and the Upper Passaic — that feed the Great Swamp and the Passaic River.

Sign Up for E-News

Contact:  Steve Reynolds

Director, Communications & Membership, GSWA

(973) 538-3500 x21

sreynolds@greatswamp.org

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Basking Ridge

Somerset County Residents May Drive Through and Drop Off Unwanted Medicines March 17 in Basking Ridge

February 22, 2018

 

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – The first "Rx Mission Drive-in/Drop-Off"  will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the Bernards Township Public Works Garage, 277 S. Maple Ave, Basking Ridge. This drop off will allow all Somerset County residents to safely dispose of unwanted or outdated prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

The Rx Mission ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

February 23, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Fri, February 23, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art , Bedminster,

Dan Bischoff: Critic As Artist

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, February 23, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Keepers of the Chroma: An Exhibition Regarding ...

Arts & Entertainment

Somerset County Residents Encouraged to Attend a Presentation on the 'Dangers of Fentanyl'

February 22, 2018

 Somerset County residents, families, parents and educators are encouraged to attend an informative presentation on the Dangers of Fentanyl.

The Bridgewater High School Parent-Teacher Organization is sponsoring this presentation at 7 p.m. Monday, March 5, in the BRHS Auditorium, 600 Garretson Road, Bridgewater.

Christopher Jakim, Assistant Special Agent in Charge-DrugEnforcement ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c