On March 27th, 2015 Team Marine students Kimberly Fuentes, Martin Liu, and Zoe Parcells won first place at the Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair in the category of Environmental Management. We couldn’t be more proud not only of our team members who went to go represent us, but also of the positive feedback that we got from LA Magazine, The Santa Monica Mirror, Planet Experts, Surf Santa Monica, SMMUSD, and our school Principal Mrs. Mayoral. Of course Team Marine never competes for the prize but rather the advancement of the cause (although winning is pretty cool too)! Our year-long research study on cigarette accumulation and mitigation in Santa Monica, CA showed revolutionary results in regards to what we should do about our cigarette pollution problem and with this data we plan on marching up to Santa Monica City Council and asking them to initiate a ban on smoking cigarettes in the city of Santa Monica (except in private residences such as a car or your home). Our study shows that indeed there are areas of high cigarette butt abundance but that the deployment of cigarette receptacles would not be very efficient because these “hotspots” are subject to change in space and time as certain events such as concerts on Montana. You can see the complete results from our study in the “Research” section of our blog.
This was such an amazing learning experience as well as another great achievement to have under our belt. Although there were many times when we were literally working till the deadline and pushing ourselves to the limit since our actual research didn’t fully end until around 2 weeks before the fair we persevered and didn’t let any obstacle stop us. We would like to thank all of the amazing Samohi students that helped in collected cigarettes and data with us as well as our spectacular TM members that didn’t let anything from schoolwork to weather prevent them from making sure they collected! A special shout out to our mentor Mr. Kay who put in lots of midnights towards helping us and not giving up hope no matter how dim the odds seemed. Just goes to show that when you put in the effort and believe in yourself nothing can stop you!