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Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2004

Youth/Education Category - 3rd Place

Project #: GG-04-24
Company: Sara Scott Harlee Middle School
Project Name: Science is Cool After School
Category: Youth/Education
Project Type: Habitat

Sara Scott Harlee Middle School’s “Science is Cool After School” Program of the Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County is funded through several Sarasota Bay National Estuary Program Grants. Students in the Program built and deployed 191 reef balls into North Sarasota Bay. They plan to build 900 more reef balls for Manatee County’s Environmental Management project, “Under the Dock” Program. In addition to building and deploying reef balls, the students created estuarine habitats in school classrooms, conducted field trips to marine and coastal habitats, became SCUBA certified, and created a reef maintenance team called, “Reef Rakers.”

The goal of the “Science is Cool After School” Program is to give students a chance to make a positive contribution to the community and help them see how science is used daily. The program began with hands-on projects like cleaning up State parks, helping with Keep Manatee Beautiful, and general habitat clean ups. Through the program, students have assisted with local beach clean ups for the past five years. The program also helps with nearly 10 park clean ups and habitat restoration projects each year. The program has grown to about 50 students and has branched out to work with approximately 200 students from the Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County. The program’s coordinator and many of his students developed a television program to help students learn about water conservation, habitat loss, reef ball building, and many of the subjects that affect the local ecosystems. The television show reaches about 7,500 people each month. To date, the “Science is Cool After School” program has provided about 2,500 hours to various environmental organizations, and is constantly seeking funding to create more learning opportunities for students.

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Gulf of Mexico Program Office
Mail Code: EPA/GMPO
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
FAX: 228-688-2709

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