We are a group of seven girls known as the Threatening Stingerz, who are competing in a nation-wide environmental competition known as the Lexus Eco Challenge. “The Lexus Eco Challenge is a program designed by Lexus and Scholastic to educate and empower students to take action to improve the environment.” We began our project in September 2011. Our goal was to spread the word about mosquitoes and how they affect the water. We made the decision to research this topic because our teacher had two family members that almost died from contracting West Nile Virus.
We started by making informative videos that we posted on YouTube. We contacted our local mosquito vector control and had them come to our school and give a presentation. We handed out flyers, word searches, puzzles, and brochures from our local vector control at our school Fall Festival. We also handed out surveys to see what people already knew about mosquitoes and the diseases they spread. We then presented what we learned to classrooms at our school. During the first challenge, we were competing against groups from 11 western states. We were one the winners, so we are now competing in the final challenge.
We enjoyed learning about our topic so much that we decided to take our topic further. We learned that mosquitoes carry many diseases. One disease that we wanted to know more about was Malaria. During our research we came across generationOn’s “Sweat for Nets” program. We learned some incredible facts that made us want to do more for children affected by Malaria. So, we organized our own “Sweat for Nets” day at our school.
Our school was one of the lowest in physical fitness last year and we have no P.E. classes so we wanted to incorporate this into our plan. We asked a local martial arts studio (Tiger Eye Family Martial Arts) if they would come to our school and instruct the kids during a 30 minute workout. Our goal was to have the kids at our school get healthy while raising funds for the kids in Africa so they can stay healthy. We even got a local gym (Training Zone) to put out pledge sheets for people to be able to pledge to workout an extra 30 minutes just like our kids. They were also able to donate as well.
The day was a huge success! Our local newspaper even came out to cover our event. Since then, another local elementary school has recruited us to come give presentations to their school and host a “Sweat for Nets” day there too. During this challenge we not only hosted a “Sweat for Nets” day, but have presented and passed out flyers to local organizations, a college campus, participated in the Bok Kai Festival, and presented to our school’s district office. We are excited about how much support we have received.
We continue to create informational videos which we post on YouTube (here is a link to one of our videos http://youtu.be/XT_cD_zW278 ) and have created a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Threatening-Stingerz/276275922422087 ) to help us spread the word further. We have a website too: http://www.mjusd.net/education/projects/projects.php?sectionid=1082& . We hope you have enjoyed our story and hope that you check out our sites so you can learn more about us.