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WVU experts assist in local STEM project

Using help from  West Virginia University experts, the Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School, and the Morgantown Learning Academy have provided a solution to a current water resource problem. Students are reclaiming a flooded area of the academy’s garden and have built a pond.
For their final project in “Science and Stewardship,” students had to design and present a proposal that would provide solutions to the flooded area of the MLA’s gardens.

“This stewardship project offered students a chance to give back to their environment and provide an educational area for future classes. A valuable opportunity was presented to research, design and implement ideas into real life,” said  Brian Lemme, an Environmental Health and Safety Stormwater Specialist.

Lemme and  Dr. James Anderson, professor at the  Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, were invited as guest speakers for the project.

Lemme continued to volunteer and donate supplies with Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership students and staff in order to create a pond around the garden area.

“The best ideas were rolled together into a comprehensive plan to create a wetland that will hopefully serve to store and clean water and create a habitat for amphibians,” Anderson said. “They turned a poorly drained area that was causing a fence to rot into a potentially valuable asset for the school.”

“This STEM project was student led, student designed and built with their own hands. The final result has exceeded my expectations both as a learning experience and as a new habitat here on campus,” said Jen-Osha Buysee, director of Mountain Stewardship and Leadership and instructor at Morgantown Learning Academy.

This project was an incredible STEM opportunity for middle school students. Students researched various topics for the project, consulted with local experts, organized and presented proposals at a judged fair.

Students worked with Lemme to dig out the trench and pond to install the water barrel and pump system.

The Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School offers enriching outdoor experience to all students who meet state social studies and science CSO’s.

“It was amazing how we were able to take an idea and turn it into reality. Having all of our ideas come to life is a really great experience to have. I learned that working together like this takes hard work, drive and communication,” said Giorgi Heiko, 8th grade.