Stars and STEM Stories
GLOBE Argentina Students Win Argentine Junior Water Prize
In May 2021, GLOBE Argentina students Marianela P., Juan W., and Lucio M., from the Science Club Huechulafquen won the Argentine Junior Water Prize (organized by the Argentine Association of Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences). The students will represent the country in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) within the framework of World Water Week.
The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is a competition for students between the ages of 15 and 20 who have developed water-related projects. Students from 38 countries participate. The overall winner of the competition will be chosen by a jury of international experts, and will be announced in on 24 August 2021 by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.
The students used GLOBE’s hydrosphere and biosphere protocols, along with The GLOBE Program’s app, GLOBE Observer (GO) Mosquito Habitat Mapper (MHM), in order to conduct the investigation “Characterization of the larval habitat of mosquitoes in Northern Patagonia, Argentina.”
“The idea of investigating mosquitoes in cold areas arose from the spread of the Aedes mosquito and the increase in dengue cases in Argentina,” Ana Prieto (GLOBE Master Trainer), Professor from the Science Club Huechulafquen, said. “A few years ago it was a problem in the North, then in the center of the country; and in recent years, it has continued to move towards the South – although it still has not arrived in the studied area, only larvae and pupae of the genus Culex were found.”
“The students had been conducting research on water quality and macroinvertebrates in the Chimehuín River,” Prieto said. “In 2019, they carried out their first research on mosquitoes “Distribution and Abundance of Mosquitoes in the World, Preliminary Report,” which was selected by the GLOBE Zika Education and Prevention Project to exhibit at the GLOBE International Virtual Science Symposium, or IVSS, in Detroit, Michigan, USA. The current research is the result of two years of research (2020 and 2021), during which there were interruptions in the samplings due to the restrictions of the pandemic.”
“By studying mosquito habitats, the students gained knowledge; developed skills in fieldwork, land cover classification, water quality analysis, macroinvertebrate identification, satellite image analysis, terrain profiles, and statistical analysis; and developed their ability to communicate their research for different hearings.”
“The GLOBE Program provides multiple opportunities to work with real-world problems, make inferences, draw conclusions, and present research that helps develop basic research skills in students,” Prieto said. “Interaction with scientists helps them learn about and become interested in STEM careers.”
“The GLOBE Mission Mosquito and Trees Around the GLOBE campaigns were the pillars that provided knowledge and ideas to develop the project; a project that was limited by the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 Pandemic,” Prieto said.
"After receiving the award, Marianela said, “I am very excited to represent Argentina in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. I always liked working with water quality analysis and, for some time, we have been doing projects related to this. I also know people who have won this award in Argentina and have had the opportunity to travel to Sweden. That also inspired me a lot. I hope that, despite the pandemic situation, this is an experience that leaves me an important lesson and inspires me to continue conducting similar research in the future. Thank you to The GLOBE Program for everything we learned that allowed us to win this award."
“For me,” Juan said, “it is gratifying to be able to participate in these spaces that provide young people with ideas and projects. Thanks to events such as the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and The GLOBE Program, I feel part of caring for our planet, as well as the experience that an investigation entail.”
“Thank you for giving us this great opportunity,” Lucio said. “Thank you for listening to our work, for us it is very important that the work we do be known. I am happy to know that there are also people who are interested in science and who like to investigate. Again, thank you very much.”
To read “Characterization of the larval habitat of mosquitoes in Northern Patagonia, Argentina,” click here.
To watch the video announcing the winners, click here.
To learn more about GLOBE Mission Mosquito, click here.
To learn more about the Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Campaign, click here.
To learn more about the Science Club Huechulafquen click here.
To learn more about the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, click here.
This Star Story was submitted by Ana Prieto, Club de Ciencias Huechulafquen, GLOBE Argentina.