On August 4 and 5, eight students from Beijing, China investigated cigarette butt pollution in Santa Monica. Following a real scientific protocol using belt transects, their study compared the number of cigarette butts found in commonly littered areas of a residential neighborhood, beach boardwalk, and open sandy beach. In total, 1,922 butts were counted and collected from the three study sites. The eight student team, aged 12-13, were among 26 Chinese middle and high school students taking part in a new environmentally-themed international summer science program called Splash in Science, founded by Team Marine advisor Benjamin Kay. Other student projects, which focused on plankton, shore birds, and sand crabs, were led by Samohi teacher, Ingo Gaida, and marine scientist and Get Inspired Inc. founder, Nancy Caruso. Students presented their research to all program participants and SMMUSD school board member, Ben Allen. Splash into Science’s three teacher team was contracted by Sunny International Exchange Inc., which establishes and facilitates youth study abroad and professional development programs between China and the US. Check out additional links and press release below.