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 NatGeoEd.org/GeoChallenge.
Meet Team Opportunity!
Team Opportunity designed a model of a device called “Trashi” which will collect and compact plastic debris in a tributary to Lake Ontario. Trashi is solar powered and utilizes tracks to maneuver. The team also plans to establish a recycling campaign using bins designed with images of animals to motivate people to recognize how waste harms animal life.
From: Thunder Ridge Middle School, Kansas
Team Motto: The Little School that Could
The biggest obstacle you had to overcome as a team: Getting five different personalities to come up with a solution and overcoming our lack our resources.
List one way you’ve changed your single-use plastic use: We utilize refillable cups, water bottles, and reusable straws. When that is not possible, we really focus on recycling.
Favorite moment at regional competition: Hearing our team name being called as the Regional Winners!
When I think of National Geographic, I think of… a group of scientists working to save the planet.
Registration for the 2019-2020 National Geographic GeoChallenge opens in August.
*Team responses have been lightly edited for grammar.