North Broward Preparatory School’s (NBPS) 6th grade team was selected as the national middle school winner in the Lexus Eco Challenge. The group’s team named Food Miles Matter includes sixth graders Camila Palladino, Isabel Wiley, Maddie Sage, Ryan Folic, Nate Harmelin, Grant Fawcett and Hayden Simmons. The challenge was designed to encourage middle and high school students and teachers to make a difference in the eco health of our planet and develop and implement environmental programs that positively impact their communities. The Food Miles Matter Team was the regional winner earlier this year – winning $10,000 – before winning the $30,000 national grand prize.
For the challenge, the NBPS Food Miles Matter Team decided to address global warming after studying about hurricanes, an increasing challenge to Florida residents, and how global warming makes them stronger in science class. Their research showed that the exhaust released from cars and trucks contributes to global warming, because exhaust produces greenhouse gases, which are trapped into the atmosphere. To make an impact the team decided to focus on reducing food miles that the NBPS school cafeteria adds to the world; and produce some food in the school’s garden to give to the cafeteria in order to reduce the amount of food that has to be ordered and shipped in.
To make the project a success the students learned all about hydroponics and started their project by planting seeds. They then made a presentation about the tower gardens and learned the parts and how to use them; and shared their success, knowledge and equipment to improve our environment with schools around the world.
The team involved the school community by giving presentations about the school’s tower gardens and how to use them. The students made public service announcements and used social media to share their project with the world. They made signs for the school cafeteria to inform the students about food miles. You can see the team’s journey on their twitter page: https://twitter.com/FoodMilesMatter.
Lexus and Scholastic selected 16 winning teams nationwide at the regional level who won $10,000 in grants and scholarships. The Food Miles Matter Team participated in the Final Challenge and was awarded another $30,000 in grants and scholarships as a grand prize winner. Eight first-place prizes of $15,000 in grants and scholarships were also awarded.