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 later this month at NatGeoEd.org/GeoChallenge.
Meet the Pacific Piranhas!
The Plastic Piranhas recognized that debris that enters the Clinton River in Michigan eventually ends up in the Atlantic ocean. The team proposed to deploy a net, made of recycled plastics, in the river to catch plastics and other debris near the source. City workers who currently empty catch basins could remove debris from the nets.
From: Oakland Christian School, Michigan
Team Motto: Saving the planet, one ocean at a time.
A funny thing about our coach: She drinks tea in a coffee cup.
Favorite moment at regional competition: We all loved sharing our victory with our fellow teammates.
A part of the world we’d like to explore is… Australia!
List one way you’ve changed your single-use plastic use: Using reusable grocery bags and paper straws, and reusing milk jugs for farm duties.
Registration for the 2019-2020 National Geographic GeoChallenge opens later this month.
*Team responses have been lightly edited for grammar.