Splash into Science Cigarette Study


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.




Team Marine Seniors Graduated!

This past Friday, June 7th 2013, Team Marine’s nine seniors graduated. Stoles were made by junior Katie Oran’s mom and the graduates wore them proudly at the ceremony. Mr. Kay and the rest of Team Marine wishes them the best of luck for next year and beyond!

Adrian Gibson will be attending Cal State Northridge.


Ivan Morales will be attending Fordham University.IMG_0052

Jorge Castillo will be attending San Francisco State University.IMG_0031

Franny Pezzullo will be attending UC Santa Barbara.IMG_0048

Juliet Jimenez will be attending Hawaii Pacific University.IMG_0044

Adrienne Hino will be attending Scripps College.970170_654615471231892_994823968_n

Candace Narvaez will be attending University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.IMG_0057

Matilda Mead will be attending UC Santa Barbara.IMG_0064

Edie Cote will be attending Boston University. IMG_0035

Congratulations Class of 2013! Good luck next year!IMG_0025

Thank You Klean Kanteen!


Special thanks to Klean Kanteen! Team Marine was rewarded for our recent preview in an upcoming documentary film—Each of us were sent our very own Klean Kanteen re-usable water canister; yet there’s a catch! These awesome eco-friendly bottles have NO plastic cap, in addition to no paint. Instead, they replaced it with bamboo tops, and reframed from using paint full of chemicals. We are all so thrilled to add this special addition to our collection of re-useables. This one’s a keeper! Thanks once again Klean Kanteen.



Recycling Sorting Event


On Friday, May 24th, Team Marine, Marine Biology, as well as SMC students helped sort many of the collected recyclables contributed this year. With set goals and deadlines to reach, students from Team Marine were able collect at least 10 bottles for a remainder of the time. As for the process, each of us distributed them into different categories i.e. (#1 Plastics, #2 Plastics, Glass) and used hand counters to help aid in us counting each item. In total, we collected exactly 7,238 glass, cans, and plastic bottles! This year has been the first to successfully complete this activity in such a short amount of time. We overall earned $361.90 in lifestraws making it out to approximately 66 lifestraws!

Tree Planting at Topanga!

This past Sunday we won a Tree People competition by sending in ten pictures of us doing environmental activities within the past year. Tree People awarded us with a beautiful trip to plant trees! After hiking through the lower Topanga Canyon we helped water and give mulch to developing native plants and trees. This was an eye opening experience because acts like these are rare but important towards our environment and Mediterranean Ecosystem. We thank Tree People for giving us the opportunity of giving back to the trees and plants that give us oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide.

Special thanks to Mollie Stephens and Ana Maria Sanchez from Tree People for this special opportunity.

Alt Build Expo 2013

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Seven Team Marine students presented on a panel at the AltBuild Expo in the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium last Saturday, May 11, sharing the results of their scientific research and service-learning projects, including the Water Fountain Audit at Santa Monica High School, the gas-to-electric conversion project, and plastic-bag ban data. This panel provided students an opportunity to share the results of their projects with members of the broader community: an audience including high school students, teachers, community college students, and community and business leaders. Other presenters, including advisor Benjamin Kay and chemistry teacher Ms. Chacon, talked about the importance of service learning both to education and the environment, and in their own communities. Attendees at this year’s AltBuild exposition were exposed to a new perspective on sustainability – from the generation that will benefit from its implementation. We expect to return to present when we can soon.

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“The Epic Story of Team Marine” Blog Post on ACE Website!

After competing at the LA County Science Fair and then the State Fair, Team Marine captains Edie, Ivan and Angelina were interviewed by Kristina von Hoffman for a blog post for the ACE website. Here is the post detailing our experience:


Thank you Kristina for the feature and for the continuous partnership with ACE!

Learn more about Alliance for Climate Education: http://www.acespace.org/


Team Marine in the California State Science Fair!

This Tuesday April 16, Team Marine captains Angelina, Edie and Ivan won 4th place out of 24 entries in the senior division of Behavioral and Social Sciences in the California State Science Fair for their bag ban research project. The research focused on the consumer bag choices and how they were affected by the plastic bag ban and the age and gender of the patrons.

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The Fair was held at the California Science Center, home to many great exhibitions, including a kelp forest, an exercise bike that shows light bulb energy efficiency and the Endeavour space shuttle! They got to check out these great exhibitions the day before, when they registered their project.

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A revised version of the report will be published on our website soon. We are also conducting another month of observations this April (a year and seven months after the ban) and we plan on doing more surveys this coming September, two years after the ban.

Thank you again to Dr. Lisette Gold and Dr. Thomas Belin for their guidance on the project!

UPDATE: brianlouxpro at the Water Main blog has done a post on our research. Thank you!


First Place in the LA County Science Fair!

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On Saturday, March 23 , co captains Angelina, Edie, and Ivan were awarded first place in the LA County Science Fair in the senior division of Environmental Management at the Pasadena Convention Center.  Their project examined the effects of the Santa Monica plastic bag ban on consumer bag choice by comparing pre-ban with post-ban data.  Over the two year study, the students visually estimated the bag type, age, and gender of over 50,400 people exiting five local grocery stores (Vons, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Albertsons, and Ralphs).  The students now advance to the state competition, held at the California Science Center April 15-16, and will later present their data at the AltBuild Expo at the Santa Monica Convention Center May 11.

Special thanks to Dr. Lisette Gold and Dr. Thomas Belin for their assistance on the project.

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Bag It Challenge Video


From the hallways at school to the halls of government, Team Marine is committed to research science and environmental advocacy. This short film documents some of our work and achievements this year, and we were inspired by the film Bag It to press forward and enter our work in the 2013 Bag It Competition. Enjoy!