Alcester-Hudson: A-H’s STEM Grows


Alcester-Hudson: A-H’s STEM Grows

This year Alcester-Hudson offered a brand-new, STEM-based class that combines English and Science to explore issues and crusade causes that affect our community and planet.  “The class has been very busy this year with several projects,” Alcester-Hudson High School Principal LeeAnn Haisch said of the class titled: Environmental Perspectives. Students took part in a Big Sioux River Project, which had them partnering with Dakota Water Watch and East Dakota Watershed Development District. The class began testing strategic sites along the Big Sioux River (and its tributaries) to help monitor bacteria and nitrate levels. The students have seen first-hand how this data is used in real research and research-based decisions at both the local and the state level. “I was surprised to learn how the introduction of non-native species to an ecosystem can have far-reaching effects that may be completely unintended,” A-H Sophmore Luke Christensen said. To promote a city recycling option in Alcester, which would reduce our waste and landfill usage, the class researched the issue, presented at the November Farmers Market, composed letters to the editor, held recycled art contests, trudged through winter snow going door to door to obtain community input, compiled polling data and presented to the city council. The council is currently working on the logistics of a recycling plan for the community. The class also applied for the Samsung STEM Grant in hopes of receiving additional resources to help them in collecting the data needed in the Big Sioux River Project. Alcester-Hudson placed in the top 5 finalists for the state of South Dakota and received two free Samsung Galaxy Tabs! “It is our hope that the students realize everyone leaves an imprint on our environment – big or small, positive or negative, intended or unintended,” Haisch said. “Perhaps through this class, we can inspire them to be good stewards of the land and resources entrusted to each of us.”

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