Five eighth-graders from Niu Valley Middle School used green tea and chocolate to represent wastewater and other pollutants to create one of three winning models in a city environmental competition.
Niu Valley students craft
winning watershed model
By Rosemarie Bernardo
Niu Valley students Thanh Bidwell, Dohoon Lee, Lei Ikeda, Bradley Ramos and Amber Poling, under the direction of science teacher Darrah Hee, finished in a three-way tie for first place with Lanikai School and Waianae High School in a watershed models competition last month at Kahala Mall Shopping Center.
Each of the team members who fulfilled the requirements of the competition received $250. All three winning teams received an additional $100.
Students were asked to construct a scale model depicting their community's watershed and how pollution affects the environment.
A day before the competition, the team members worked 12 straight hours at Bidwell's home in Hahaione Valley to build and design their model. Miniature ships, houses and stores were glued to the display. Also, coral and miniature turtles were placed on the model. A pump was used to create running water to flow on the display. Chocolate syrup and green tea represented unwanted materials and polluted water.
Team members explained how water that runs from the mountains through commercial and residential areas and into the ocean can affect sea turtles and coral reef.
A plastic bag from a store can land in the water and suffocate turtles, Poling said.