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Contact: Phil Lupsiewicz, 978-318-7833
Contact: Ryan UllrichTeen engineers and scientists from two high school programs--New England Aquarium Live Blue Ambassadors and FIRST Robotics Gearticks--are solving resource management challenges at Minute Man National Historical Park. Most recently on a chilly February Saturday, a team of high students from the Boston area worked together to design and build transportable compost bins for the park's invasive plant management program. "The students are really good at team-based problem solving," observes Ryan Ullrich, the park's Community Volunteer Ambassador.
Previously, the park transported two tons of invasive plants a long distance to an incinerator facility. "We would prefer to compost on-site before invasive plants set seed, which would save a lot of labor and fuel," explains Margie Brown, the parks Natural and Cultural Resource Manager. "We need the students to design and build compost bins for weeds that are as large as possible, but light enough to be moved by two people; be easy to build and inexpensive; and harmonize with the park setting."
A local FIRST robotics team, the Gearticks provided technical expertise on safe tool use, construction methods, and design ideas. "It is fun to work with other students and we are having a good time building on a nice winter day," notes high school junior Jack Hutchinson. The students learned to use cordless drills and other hand tools to assemble a prototype compost bin. The bin will placed out of site at the edge of a garden and be filled by landscape stewards throughout the growing season.
The park is very appreciative of the design and building skills of these teen engineers and scientists. For more information on these student-designed solutions and the park's summer stewardship program, contact MIMA Community Volunteer Ambassador, Ryan_Ullrich@partner.nps.gov