More than a dozen Pinellas teachers were recently awarded grants from the Southwest Florida Water Management District for water resources education projects. This is the 17th year that Swiftmud has offered the Splash! school grants, according to its website. Last school year, 204 projects were funded. Teachers can receive up to $3,000 per school year for projects in five categories that are priority issues for Swiftmud: water conservation, water quality, watersheds, flood protection and natural systems. Here are the winners:
Wendy Stanziano, Academie Davinci, $770. Students will conduct a water resources field study at an organic community farm.
Lauren Hipsely, Woodlawn Elementary, $840. Students will attend a hands-on workshop at the Science Center of Pinellas County to learn about the water cycle.
Amy Robles, Gulfport Elementary, $1,350. Students will explore the ecology of a watershed at Myakka River State Park.
Annette Anthony, Gulfport Elementary, $1,532. Students will conduct field studies at the Science Center of Pinellas County and a sewage treatment plant.
Suzanne Mizzi and Cynthia Barber, Pinellas Preparatory Academy, $1,677. Students will engineer a Florida-friendly garden that will include a rain barrel.
Donna Heres, Bear Creek Elementary, $1,682. Students will monitor and work to improve the water quality of Bear Creek.
James Levesque, Bay Point Elementary, $1,725. Students will transform a campus pond into an outdoor classroom by using native plants.
Stefanie Frump, Campbell Park Elementary Marine Science Center, $2,200. Students will conduct a field study of Brooker Creek Preserve and participate in a habitat restoration project.
Sally Wentzell, Northeast High School, $2,300. Students will engage in hands-on learning through STEM-based water education field studies.
Mistie Meditz, Skyview Elementary, $2,800. Students will conduct water education field studies at Fort De Soto Park and an organic community farm.
Janice Creneti, Boca Ciega High School, $2,990. Students will retrofit an aquaculture tank to support hydroponics and establish a native plant garden fed by wastewater from the tank.
Leslie Pohley, Largo Middle School, $2,995. Students will perform home toilet leak testing and water use surveys, and create an aqua system with native plants and fish.
Pamela Morse, Hospital/Homebound Program, $2,997. Students will conduct a field study at Sawgrass Lake Park and build a watershed model.
Maria Wyatt, Southern Oak Elementary, $2,999. Students will learn about water conservation, sustainable food production and water quality through hydroponic gardening and the use of microscopes.
Natasha Coles, Madeira Beach Fundamental, $3,000. Students will explore watershed ecology, test water quality and learn how human activities alter the health of the watershed.
Susan Carney, Ozona Elementary, $3,000. Students will enhance existing hydroponic and aquatic systems, collecting fresh water with rain barrels and documenting water savings.
Anne Weller, Perkins Elementary, $3,000. Students will create traditional and hydroponic gardens on campus, learning about water conservation and sustainable gardening practices.
Jeanette Gore, Tarpon Springs High School, $3,000. Students will evaluate a campus wetland area, test water quality, develop a watershed habitat management plan and plant native vegetation.
Sources: Pinellas County Schools, South Florida Water Management District