Meet the Team: The Plastic Tacklers

During the 2018-19 school year, teams of middle schoolers tackled the problem of plastic pollution in our waterways with the National Geographic GeoChallenge. First-place teams from sixteen regional competitions traveled to the 2019 Geo Championships in Washington, D.C. in May 2019. This blog series introduces you to each of those teams in their own words.* Registration for next year’s #NatGeoChallenge opens in August at

Meet The Plastic Tacklers!

The Plastic Tacklers!

The Plastic Tacklers team designed a filter to separate plastic from waterways. The plastics trapped in the filter will be used as material for housing projects and disaster relief efforts. The team anticipates testing their design in a local waterway in Colorado, then scaling it up globally to highly polluted rivers.

From: Bradford K-8 School, Colorado

Team Motto: We Choose Planet

A funny thing about your team: We always make each other laugh at the smallest jokes whenever we are together!

A funny thing about your coach: Mr. Stevinson always makes cheesy jokes and has funny curling socks. He also eats spinach pancakes!

The biggest obstacle you had to overcome as a team: The biggest obstacle we’ve had to overcome is staying on task and coming up with solutions that would actually work.

List one way you’ve changed your single-use plastic use:
Rileigh Rose: When I go to the store I only take reusable bags, and I do not use plastic straws for drinks.
Reese: I have stopped using plastic water bottles.

When I think of National Geographic, I think of…
Emelie: I think of explorers, photographers, and researchers trying to learn more about the world to make it a better place.
Audrey: I think of people working together to fix a problem. Just like the work we have been doing to help the plastic problem.

Registration for the 2019-2020 National Geographic GeoChallenge opens in August.

*Team responses have been lightly edited for grammar.

Leave a Reply