Stars and STEM Stories
Of Trees and Adventures: The Unexpected Odyssey of Our Project "A Tree´s Shade for My Town, Victoria"
"When I ventured into the captivating world of the Trees within LAC workshop on 16 February 2023, I never thought I would cross borders to reach Panama for the XX Regional Meeting of GLOBE." - María Fernanda Kielmanowicz
Initially, the goal was simple: measure the height of trees and identify them. But, as in any good story, the plot became more intricate. First, participants took part in the campaign drawing contest, "Create your logo for the regional campaign." The students unintentionally immersed themselves in the world of trees, discovering their importance locally and globally and how they relate to GLOBE's four spheres.
Later, Kielmanowicz received a stipend that unexpectedly led her and the students to create a project that her RCO selected, allowing them to attend the 2023 LAC Regional Meeting. They used the initial incentive to purchase work materials. Then, on a field trip to El Potrero (a private botanic garden in their city), her students shared efforts and joy while collecting more data for the campaign.
Finally came the grand prize: a teacher and one lucky student could travel. After a selection process considering various criteria, Victoria Zanoni emerged as the winner of a draw among six students. "Get ready for the trip, Victoria!" To Kielmanowicz and Victoria, everything seemed like a dream -- but it was a dream that came true, not like the ones where someone flies but wakes up before landing.
Before the trip, the project needed adjustments; Mentor Trainer Andrea Ventoso was assigned as their tutor. Kielmanowicz says, "I appreciate her patience and commitment because building a winning project is challenging! This story is not just a research project for GLOBE. For the students, it's a source of inspiration, a prologue to future works where research takes the lead." Victoria added, "Getting to know The GLOBE Program provided me with various experiences to delve into my learning about the planet Earth, how to care for it and improve it... Presenting our project was a moment of growth. Representing my school and classmates at the XX Regional Meeting of Latin America and the Caribbean and explaining the issues in my city, such as the lack of trees on the sidewalks, was very exciting. The experience in Panama was incredible and will be stuck in my memory. I thank the GLOBE LAC RCO for this life changing opportunity."
Each person in this great community plays a necessary role, with teachers training to teach their students and students learning and collecting data. GLOBE provides that knowledge and serves as a link with NASA. NASA researchers use the data uploaded by teachers, students or citizen scientists to the platform. Everything works like a well-oiled clock or an ecosystem with all its trophic chain members.
"The experience in Panama was unforgettable! Not only did we enjoy the warm Panamanian hospitality, but we also met colleagues who shared my passion for nature. Everyone made us feel at home."
Kielmanowicz's students remain inspired and eager to do more. They are designing a logo and collecting new data to answer the problem question that led them to Panama: What are the consequences of air and surface temperature in Victoria, Entre Ríos, Argentina, due to the lack of public tree planting? It is a mystery that will be solved with science and GLOBE Protocols!
Images courtesy María Fernanda Kielmanowicz and Victoria Zanoni, Mesopotamia School, Victoria, Entre Ríos, Argentina.