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Team Ignite engages in team project to spread the word about water conservation

Vaishnavi Nayak, Staff Writer

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Team Ignite has started a new team project to educate the community, donate to the organization Drink Local, Drink Tap, and fix the local storm sewer problem. Drink Local, Drink Tap  is a non- profit organization that advocates the protection of water and provides water to people in Uganda. There are many events that have been planned including a rain barrel auction, a field trip, and storm-sewer stencilling.

One of the local aspects of the project is to educate people about the harmful effects of dumping pollutants into the storm drains and help stop the dumping. Americans dump items such as  car fuel, car wash liquid, rocks, and fertilizer into storm sewers and these don’t go through purification plants but rather end up in lakes. These harmful substances can pollute not only our lake but also the beaches of Cleveland.

The solution suggested by team Ignite was storm-sewer stencilling. It is the process by which messages and images are drawn on a paper, then cut out and stencilled near the storm drain. The storm drain stencils designed contain message such as “only rain should go into the drain” and have images of fish or other sea animals on them. These stencils are used to show that the pollutants dumped into the drain will affect not only the water but also the fish and wildlife in and around the lake. The stencils were designed by the team then created by one of the high school classes at the Innovation Center using the 3D printers.

One of the teachers on the Ignite team, Mrs. Strietman, stated that the idea began when she was introduced to the company “Drink Local Drink Tap” by Mr. Stephens. She stated that she enjoyed the idea of helping an international organization because she wanted to be apart of the solution of global water scarcity. She came up with the idea of the storm sewer project so that the students could relate to the topic locally. Mrs. Strietman says she  found the idea of hands-on learning experiences very interesting and wanted to make the students feel like they had made a real difference. She stated that she often wondered about water contamination and was scared of her children getting sick when they swam in Lake Erie. She also mentioned the fact that even though the response from the students was not as big as she expected, it was still incredibly positive.

Activities arranged included a visit from the members of the water conservation district, who visited the science classes to teach the students about watersheds and the storm sewer problem.

On a  field trip to the Watershed Stewardship Center on October 24, students were able to learn about water pollution and see first-hand some of the preventative systems in place.

Spokespeople from  Drink Local, Drink Tap also spoke to social studies classes on October 9 to teach about their projects.

Ignite is also holding a rain barrel auction where they will sell rain barrels painted by the students. The money raised will be donated to Drink Local,  Drink Tap to help people in Africa who have to walk kilometers everyday to get unsanitary water.

These efforts may seem small but will have lasting impacts in future. By teaching people to conserve water and stop the pollution occurring in the lake, we not only make sure we get good water but also ensure good water to our future generations as well.

If you want to support Drink Local, Drink Tap, click on the link below:

https://www.drinklocaldrinktap.org/donate/

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Team Ignite engages in team project to spread the word about water conservation