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Lower school digital media club educates others on native Hawaiian plants and species

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The Lower School Digital Media Club is made up of girls in grades 4-6 who use media web sites to inform others about important issues. Advisers for the club are lower school librarian Laurel Taylor, second grade teacher Alison Mongelli and sixth grade teacher Tanya Chargualaf.

The club is participating in “Disney Planet,” a competition for raising awareness of environmental problems in their area. The club is focusing on problems that affect the environment in Hawaii, specifically with saving native Hawaiian species.

“The Disney Planet Challenge is a great program that integrates classwork and community service, and a way to get them excited about using digital media to help others,” Taylor said.

The club has a blog used to document what students learn so that they can teach others about the problems of native plants in the environment.

“We thought it was important to let the public know about native Hawaiian plants and their benefits,” said sixth grader Chanel Yee.

“We want the public to give us feedback and encouragement so we know what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong,” said sixth gader Jade Spallina.

Taylor said, “Our topic was ‘save our native Hawaiian plants.’ The girls wanted to focus on educating others on saving native plants and to educate others on how they’re essential to our ecosystem.”

Sixth grade students surveyed the school community about knowledge of native Hawaiian plants, went to the Lyon Arboretum, and used what they learned to teach other lower school grades about native plants and how to save them.

“We went into a germ plasm bank, which is a storage room that has all of their plants inside,” said Megan Mattison. “It has all of the plants that are only in Hawaii.”

As a fundraiser for their club and the Lyon Arboretum, the sixth graders created bookmarks about native plants and will be selling them.

“We thought that it would be educational because in a way we’re promoting reading by making bookmarks, but we’re also informing the person who has the bookmark about native Hawaiian plants,” said sixth grader Julia Oehlers.

Fourth and fifth grade students in the Digital Media Club are raising awareness about the Hawaiian monk seals, an endangered species.

“We wanted to focus on the Hawaiian monk seals because we wanted to help an endangered species that is special to Hawaii,” said fifth grader Tiffany Min.

“The Mediterranean monk seal is already extinct, and we don’t want that to happen to the Hawaiian monk seals,” said fifth grader Logan Shiroma.

Students created a web site that has information about the monk seals, including facts about monk seals, their problems and information on how to help them.

“We want people to know what’s happening to the monk seals, and we hope that the people who go to the web site will do something to help the monk seals,” said fifth grader Sophia Brittin.


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Lower school digital media club educates others on native Hawaiian plants and species