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2018 Ambassador: Alexi Canzoneri-Vanture

2018 Ambassador: Alexi Canzoneri-Vanture

Alexi Canzoneri-Vanture
Shorecrest High School
Shoreline, WA

FUTURE CAREER GOALS

Right now I am most concerned about getting into college. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that I get into my dream school, Pomona, but I will in all likelihood end up going to the University of Washington (Which is also an excellent school, especially for biology or medicine). I plan on getting either a general or more specialized degree in the field of biology. From here I plan on attending either Grad or Med School. Eventually I plan on doing research in the field of Biology with a focus on human health and medicine.

DESCRIPTION OF SCHOOL

Shorecrest is a mid-sized public high school located just west of the northern tip of Lake Washington. Shorecrest is known specifically for its music department,  plays, and hip hop dance team (which has won state many years in a row). Shorecrest has a high AP registration among upperclassmen and offers a relatively large amount of AP classes, including a range of AP science classes. One of the most popular AP science classes that Shorecrest offers is AP environmental science, a course focusing on sustainability and the environment. This course has strong ties to the relatively small but very active Environmental club at Shorecrest.

WHAT ORIGINALLY MADE YOU INTERESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

To me it seems like the world in the next 200 years is in danger. It is danger of rising seawater, of desertification, of mass migration, of mass extinctions, of ecological collapse, and of food shortage. We are at a time when our response to what is going on around us is paramount – for if we delay our action too much longer it may be too late. The acknowledgment of this fact and my interest in being part of the solution is the primary reason that I was interested in this project. I also am extremely interested in self-sustainability on all scales. I have read extensively about the Biosphere 2 project as well as terraforming mars. In addition to this I experimented with making my own self-sustaining ecosystems in a jar. Between my interest in sustainability and my interest in the environment this project was perfect for me!

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BRING THIS PROJECT TO YOUR SCHOOL/COMMUNITY? WHAT ARE YOUR OBJECTIVES?

As my school already has aquaponics integrated into its curriculum I believe that having a physical model would make students more engaged in their learning and would raise awareness about sustainable agriculture. Awareness is ultimately my primary goal, as I believe that the reason so many people are passive when it comes to the environmental problems facing our world is that they simply do not understand the severity of them. Through classroom outreach and ultimately (I hope) an Earth day assembly I plan to raise awareness and make my community a place that is conscious about the health of our planet. I also plan to, through my experiment with invertebrates in aquaponic systems, introduce and test novel ideas.

WHAT CURRENT CLUBS ARE AVAILABLE? WHAT TEACHERS / COURSES COULD INTEGRATE THIS PROJECT?

Shorecrest high school has already integrated aquaponics into its curriculum in the regular and honors freshman/sophomore biology classes. As a result of this a physical aquaponic system would be a fairly logical extension of the curriculum as well as a great way to get students involved and interested in both their class and sustainable agriculture. One of Shorecrest’s most popular AP science courses is AP environmental science. This course has a focus on both sustainability, agriculture, and the environment of earth. In addition this class has strong ties to our school’s environmental club, which while relatively small is very active. As a result of the relevance of aquaponics and sustainable agriculture to these courses and clubs all of them have significant potential for meaningful integration of aquaponics.

WHAT IS YOUR PLAN?

I plan to talk to the teacher who I think will allow me to construct the system in her room before the year starts, and construct it as soon as the year begins. I plan to start planning the earth day assembly in November and do it in mid-late April. I plan to start drafting my experiment in September and actually start it in October.

 

WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU THINK YOU WILL FACE IN GETTING THIS PROJECT SET UP?

I don’t expect to face too many challenges. I believe the hardest parts of setting this up will be getting administrative help with the Earth Day assembly and designing a valid experiment.