Finding Our Way - WCSU STEM

Stewardship Award Winners

2019 WCSU NOAA B-WET Stewardship First Place Award

Joshua Maruffi, Westside Middle School Academy.

His stewardship focused on learning about and helping several kinds of wildlife – birds, bats, and pollinators. Maruffi built and installed several habitats at his house, recorded frog calls and tracked bird development. He involved younger students by leading a Cub Scout troop on a trail cleanup.

2019 WCSU NOAA B-WET Stewardship Second Place Award

Esther Ribeiro, Bethel Middle School.

Ribeiro engaged the public with a well-designed website that educates on several environmental themes, particularly on waste reduction. She also built a compost bin to reduce food waste, feed ducks planned a method of protecting sea turtle eggs and created an engaging baby activity book using recycled materials.

2019 WCSU NOAA B-WET Stewardship Third Place Award

3rd place (tie) – Sabrina Serpa Smith and Marisol Tapia Rodriguez, Westside Middle School Academy.

Their project is continuing, but they have already planned and executed important steps to improve pollinator diversity at their school. Smith and Rodriguez planted native plants and built benches for their school’s outdoor classroom in coordination with school officials. They also established a school “Green Team” in which they lead younger students in restoring and developing the wildlife habitat.

3rd place (tie) – Juliet Dahlstrom, Westside Middle School Academy.

Dahlstrom learned about composting and built a bin in her yard. She also cleaned an extensive local trail adjacent to a stream, collecting 26 pounds of garbage.

3rd place (tie) – Sereen Amezzane, from New Haven.

Amezzane is home-schooled. She researched the problem of pollution from straws and gave a presentation on sustainable straw options. She engaged other students by having them sign a pledge not to use plastic straws.

2019 WCSU NOAA B-WET Stewardship Honorable Mention Award

Joshua Hatter, Westside Middle School Academy.

Hatter cleaned up a park and worked to improve his school’s recycling system. He worked over a long period creating flyers and speaking to classmates to encourage compliance in using school recycling bins.

Matthew Waldron, Rogers Park Middle School.

His project, to encourage lunchroom recycling, is in planning stages and will be implemented during the 2019-20 school year. With his school’s environmental club, Waldron will create a recycling bin for single-use plastic utensils and work with custodians on proper disposal. Additionally, he will create an incentive program using raffle tickets to reward students for bringing in their own utensils.

2019 WCSU NOAA B-WET Stewardship Participation Award

Megan Iolova, New Fairfield Middle School.

Iolova’s awareness of the widespread use of plastic straws has inspired her to meet with her school principal to reduce usage.

 Jake Ledan, Bethel Middle School.

Ledan approached his town’s First Selectman to install a town moss garden to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, improving the air quality of Bethel. He has monitored moss growth factors at his home and is expanding the moss environment there.

Diego Soto, Broadview Middle School.

Soto’s project explored the pollution mitigating properties of moss and possible ways to use it to reduce car exhaust contaminants.

 Tyler Tang, Middlebrook School, Wilton.

Tang conducted a garbage clean up along the Norwalk River Valley Trail. He also put up posters at school water fountains to encourage refilling and reusing water bottles.


2019 WCSU NOAA B-WET Stewardship Classroom Award

Carrie Rowe, Teacher and Environmental Club Leader, Rogers Park Middle School.

Rowe was recognized for encouraging environmental stewardship in the school community through leading the environmental club and fostering Matthew Waldron’s lunchroom recycling initiative, a program that will continue throughout the 2019-20 school year.

Jonathan Neuhausel, Magnet School Coach, Westside Middle School Academy.

He was recognized for fostering hands-on science learning for students through a renewal project of the Outdoor Habitat area. Neuhausel encourages all students to make stewardship a part of their daily lives.