Students invited to participate in 26th annual Junior Solar Sprint model car competition

(Rob Underwood of DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy, left, watches as students prepare to race their solar cars at the 2018 Delaware Junior Solar Sprint. DNREC photo by Joanna Wilson.)

Registration for schools due by Jan. 10, 2020 deadline

DOVER – Delaware 5th-8th grade students are invited to build and race solar-powered model cars in a statewide challenge of creativity, engineering, and speed in the 2020 Junior Solar Sprint state competition, co-sponsored by DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy and the Delaware Technology Student Association (TSA).

The event will take place on April 2, 2020 at the Delaware Technical Community College campus in Dover as part of the National Junior Solar Sprint Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program.

Public, private, and parochial schools, and homeschooled children in grades 5-8 across the state may register up to two teams of two to four students each. Registration is free, and the Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy will provide each participating school with two starter kits, each including a solar panel, motor, and wheels.

Interested educators should submit a completed registration form by Jan. 10, 2020 by email to JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov or by mail to DNREC State Street Commons, 100 West Water Street, Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy Suite 5A, Dover, DE 19904.

The registration form and rules and guidelines can be found on the Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy‘s Junior Solar Sprint webpage, or the Delaware TSA State Conference webpage. Schools are not required to have a TSA chapter in order to participate. Additional questions can be directed via email to JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov or by phone at 302-735-3480.

For those not familiar with the event, a video of last year’s Junior Solar Sprint is posted on DNREC’s YouTube channel at 2018 Solar Sprint.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


Delaware Future Educators Win A National Conference

Delaware high school students interested in education careers recently brought home awards from a national Educators Rising Conference in Dallas. Delaware’s delegation also got a chance to hear from experts in the field of education, including 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson.

 

School participating included: Delmar High School, Hodgson Vo-Tech High School, Indian River High School, POLYTECH High School, St. George’s Technical High School, Smyrna High School, Sussex Central High School and Sussex Technical High School.

 

The following students placed nationally:

 

Lesson Planning & Delivery – Humanities – Top 10: Denis Torres Ruiz from Smyrna

 

Children’s Literature K-3 – Second place: Alexa Alcocer-Nunez and Christa Watson from St. Georges

 

Exploring Support Services – Top 10: Riley Murray from Indian River

 

Exploring Education Administration Careers – First place: Beverly Cobos from St. George’s Technical High School

 

Public Speaking – Second place: Grace Morris from Sussex Tech

 

Public Speaking – Third place: Caitlyn Thomas from Smyrna

 

Researching Learning Challenges – Top 10: Smyrna

 

Educators Rising is a career and technical student organization for students enrolled in the Teacher Academy who are interested in pursuing a career in education.

 


Delaware TSA students bring home awards from national conference

Top state medalists represented Delaware at the National Technology Student Association’s (TSA) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) conference held at the National Harbor, Maryland Friday through Tuesday.  Students competed in high technology and in leadership contests such as computer-aided design; dragster design; engineering, inventions & innovations; leadership strategies; manufacturing prototype; medical technology; on-demand video; promotional graphics; structural engineering; system control technology; video game design; robotics, website design and more. The conference was the largest in the organizations history, with more than 8,500 individuals in attendance from through the country and world. It was also the largest national attendance in Delaware TSA history with 147 participants.

 

Highlights include:

  • Apuroop Mutyala of MOT Charter School elected to serve as Vice-President of National TSA
  • Delaware students earned 14 top 10 national honors
  • Kathy Sheehy of Dickinson High School (Red Clay Consolidated School District) awarded Chapter Advisor of the Year
  • Stephen Lee of PS duPont Middle School (Brandywine School District) awarded Chapter Advisor of the Year
  • Postlethwait Middle School (Caesar Rodney School District) honored with Legacy Chapter of Excellence award

 

Results:

 

Place                    Contest                                                           School

2nd Place               STEM Animation                                            Cab Calloway School of the Arts Middle School (Red Clay)

3rd Place               Challenging Technology Issues                      Postlethwait Middle School (Caesar Rodney)

3rd Place               Digital Photography                                        Postlethwait Middle School

3rd Place               Leap Legacy Chapter of Excellence Award     Postlethwait Middle School

4th Place               Forensics Technology                                     Newark Charter Jr/Sr High School (Charter)

4th Place               Children’s Stories                                           Postlethwait Middle School

4th Place               Prepared Presentation                                   MOT Charter School (Charter)

6th Place               Leadership Strategies                                     Cab Calloway School of the Arts Middle School

7th Place               System Control Technology                           Caesar Rodney High School (Caesar Rodney)

7th Place               Webmaster                                                     Caesar Rodney High School

8th Place               Digital Video Production                                Caesar Rodney High School

8th Place               Promotional Marketing                                  Cab Calloway School of the Arts Middle School

9th Place               Debating Technology                                     MOT Charter School

10th Place             Extemporaneous Speech                               Cab Calloway School of the Arts High School

 

Participating Schools (Districts):

  • Alexis I. duPont High School (Red Clay)
  • Bayard Middle School (Christina)
  • Cab Calloway School Of The Arts High School (Red Clay)
  • Cab Calloway School Of The Arts Middle School (Red Clay)
  • Caesar Rodney High School (Caesar Rodney)
  • Fifer Middle School (Caesar Rodney)
  • H.B. duPont Middle School (Red Clay)
  • Henry C. Conrad Schools of Science (Red Clay)
  • Milford Central Academy (Milford)
  • MOT Charter School (Charter)
  • Newark Charter High School (Charter)
  • Newark Charter Jr. High School (Charter)
  • Postlethwait Middle School (Caesar Rodney)
  • Selbyville Middle School (Indian River)
  • Sussex Central High School (Indian River)

 

The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) dedicated to students interested in the future of invention, innovation, engineering, and technology. Through TSA, members have the opportunity to participate in technology-focused competitive events, take part in community service work, and become leaders for the organization in their school, state, and at the national level. TSA incorporates curricular and co-curricular experiences to emphasize the importance of knowledge, leadership, skill development, and teamwork. To learn more about Delaware TSA, please contact Mike Fitzgerald by phone at: (302) 735-4015 or by email at: Mike.Fitzgerald@doe.k12.de.us


Governor’s 2019 Agricultural and Urban Conservation Award winners honored today

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin congratulates Kent County Agricultural Award honoree Alfred Moor Jr. of Smyrna, with his granddaughter-in-law Hallie Moor, great-grandson Everett Moor, and Gail Montgomery.

Delaware Association of Conservation Districts also honors Legislator of the Year

DOVER – The Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village was the setting for today’s annual Governor’s Agricultural and Urban Conservation Awards. Governor John Carney, along with DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Delaware Association of Conservation Districts President Edwin Alexander, and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Kasey Taylor, led a ceremony recognizing this year’s honorees and signed a proclamation officially designating April 28-May 4 as Soil and Water Stewardship Week in Delaware under the theme, “Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper.”

“Today’s honorees have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to improving the environment, and on behalf of Delawareans, I thank each of them for their dedication and for their time, effort, and investment to implement model conservation practices,” said Governor Carney. “I also want to thank all of the Conservation District supervisors and employees for the many and various contributions they make to improve the quality of life in Delaware.”

“Much of the work we do at DNREC is accomplished through partnerships with Delaware’s three conservation districts and USDA-NRCS, and these awards highlight the beneficial outcomes of these relationships,” said Secretary Garvin. “This year’s honorees are outstanding and diverse examples of how we can learn from the success of others and can all be better environmental stewards by taking thoughtful and important actions to protect and enhance our water and air quality.”

This year’s Conservation Award winners are:

NEW CASTLE COUNTY

Accepting the New Castle County Agricultural award for the Colonial School District’s Penn Farm were Penn Farm Manager Toby Hagerott, Nutritional Services Manager Paula Angelucci, and Principal Brian Erskine.
Accepting the New Castle County Agricultural award for the Colonial School District’s Penn Farm were Penn Farm Manager Toby Hagerott, Nutritional Services Manager Paula Angelucci, and Principal Brian Erskine.

AGRICULTURAL: Colonial School District Penn Farm, New Castle
Now in its seventh year, the Colonial School District’s Penn Farm provides real-world life experiences to more than 300 students each year in the areas of field scale crop production, production gardening, animal husbandry, agri-business marketing, environmental best practices, and food safety skills. The farming operation includes nutrient and irrigation management, soil health tillage practices, on-farm and farm market sales, and retail management experiences. The Penn Farm’s 4-acre operation produces nearly 20,000 pounds of produce annually, with approximately half going to the school lunch program and half to the local community, local farm markets, and 40 local members of Community Supported Agriculture. The Penn Farm is Delaware’s prototype farm-to-school program, and demonstrates the benefits collaboration between the school district and students, families, local communities and supporting businesses. Partners include the Delaware Department of Agriculture, Delaware State University, Delaware Cooperative Extension, Trustees of New Castle Common, Foodbank of Delaware, Delaware Greenways and New Castle County.

URBAN: New Castle County Department of Public Works, for the Westwoods Stormwater Management Pond Upgrade, near Hockessin
The Westwoods stormwater management pond failed following a severe storm in July 2017. The storm washed away a 24-inch corrugated metal pipe, resulting in the collapse of a 200-foot earthen embankment that covered the pipe, leaving an open channel emptying into a tributary of Mill Creek. New Castle County’s annual stormwater amnesty program provides $1.5 million in assistance each year to retrofit and perform major repairs on residential development stormwater facilities, which helps improve water quality. NCC’s Department of Public Works contracted with New Castle Conservation District to reengineer and design the upgrade project; NCCD also provided construction inspection, permit acquisition, and construction management services when bid prices for construction of the pond upgrade project’s original design exceeded the county’s budget. The pond upgrade project restored the functions of the stormwater management pond as well as the accompanying benefits of water quality improvement and better sediment control.

KENT COUNTY

AGRICULTURAL: Alfred Moor Jr., Smyrna
Alfred Moor Jr., and his son Alfred Moor III, own and operate a 6,000-acre farm near Smyrna, which over the years has included grain and dairy production, as well as a harness horse operation. An active Kent Conservation District cooperator since 1976, Alfred Moor Jr. was a responsible land steward long before it became normal operating procedure for today’s agricultural operations, by implementing state-of-the-art waste storage and nutrient management systems and installing drainage practices to ensure proper water quality and management. His life-long commitment to using conservation measures on the lands under his care has contributed to good soil health, a sustained environment, and continued integrity of the land. Mr. Moor Jr. has also served as the tax ditch manager for the Mt. Friendship Tax Ditch for 43 years, representing nearby landowners, ensuring proper ditch maintenance, and improving management and quality of waters entering the Delaware River and Bay.

URBAN: Nick Alessandro, Diamond State Pole Buildings, Felton
The Diamond State Pole Building project at 7288 South DuPont Highway just south of Woodside overcame challenging site conditions through the use of permeable asphalt and bio retention. Due to the high groundwater table at this location, and the presence of environmentally-sensitive areas surrounding the site, traditional stormwater management practices were ruled out by the owner’s engineering firm, The Pelsa Company of Newark. Permeable asphalt allows stormwater runoff to pass through into a stone bed under the parking lot. Three sections of permeable asphalt were installed in the parking spaces, with traditional asphalt used in the drive aisles for project longevity. As the first use of permeable asphalt approved by the Kent Conservation District, this project will serve as an example of the cost-effectiveness and applicability of the material, and will encourage its use on other challenging sites where traditional stormwater approaches may not be an option.

SUSSEX COUNTY

Sussex County Agricultural Award honorees Kathy and Richard Carlisle of Pine Breeze Farms.Sussex County Agricultural Award honorees Kathy and Richard Carlisle of Pine Breeze Farms.
Sussex County Agricultural Award honorees Kathy and Richard Carlisle of Pine Breeze Farms.

AGRICULTURAL: Richard Carlisle, Pine Breeze Farms, near Bridgeville/Greenwood
Richard Carlisle of Pine Breeze Farms, and his wife Kathy farm 1,120 acres in western Sussex County near Bridgeville and Greenwood, all within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Carlisle has long supported and participated in the Sussex Conservation District’s Soil Health Initiative and Cover Crop Program or the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service’s cover crop programs. He was instrumental in the purchase, implementation, and ongoing updates of the District’s air seeder, which he has used to establish his cover crops early to improve water quality and soil health. To address irrigation water management and improve efficiency, Pine Breeze Farms has installed new wells and pumps, and replaced aging center pivot systems and an old diesel irrigation motor with an electric motor. The farm has also improved nutrient management, using “smart soil sampling” technology and GPS yield maps to locate deficiencies in vital nutrients and help determine efficient use of fertilizers. Richard also serves as a tax ditch commissioner and officer on the Jones Mill and Jones Branch tax ditches, and worked with the District to develop a tax ditch conservation plan with a maintenance schedule and recommendations for implementing water quality best management practices.

URBAN: Town of Laurel and Laurel Redevelopment Corporation for Tidewater Park
Constructed in spring 2018, Tidewater Park brings green infrastructure improvements and stormwater management to the Town of Laurel’s waterfront area through a constructed wetland adjoining Broad Creek that was planted with native aquatic plants, and with a footbridge over the wetland connected to an existing walkway. Environmental benefits from the project include reduction of nutrients, enhancement of water quality, creation of native fish habitat, and the addition of native urban tree canopy, as well as providing stormwater management for 2.23 acres of impervious surfaces. Tidewater Park is the first phase of “The Ramble,” a redevelopment plan that incorporates the town’s waterfront into a mixed-use-based community, with the goal of enhancing the creek’s natural features while drawing tourism and businesses to create a small-town environment that is a great place to live, work, and play. Partners for implementation of Tidewater Park include the Town of Laurel, Laurel Redevelopment Corporation, Foresite Associates, DNREC, University of Delaware and the Sussex Conservation District.

Delaware Association of Conservation Districts’ Legislator of the Year
The Delaware Association of Conservation Districts (DACD) also recognized State Representative Gerald Brady, 4th District, as the 2018 Legislator of the Year, an annual award given for outstanding service, loyalty and devotion to conservation efforts in Delaware. As a former Wilmington City Councilman from 1996-2006 and a Wilmington native who served 35 years in the Delaware Army National Guard, Rep. Brady shares a firm belief in government’s responsibility to provide sufficient infrastructure and protected resources for future generations. He was also the recent recipient of the Delaware Recreation and Parks Society’s Legislator of the Year.

Delaware’s Conservation Districts, one in each county, are a unique governmental unit working within DNREC. Their mission is to provide technical and financial assistance to help Delawareans conserve and improve their local natural resources, including solving land, water and related resource problems; developing conservation programs to solve them; enlisting and coordinating help from public and private sources to accomplish these goals; and increasing awareness of the inter-relationship between human activities and the natural environment. Delaware’s district supervisors have a statewide organization, the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts (DACD), a voluntary, non-profit alliance that provides a forum for discussion and coordination among the Conservation Districts.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 49, No. 110


Charter School of Wilmington wins championship in 2019 Delaware Envirothon

First Place in the 2019 Delaware Envirothon: Wilmington Team A, left to right: Victoria Deng, Udeerna Tippabhatla, Darren Wu, Shan Yu, and Shriya Boyapati. DNREC photo.

DOVER – Charter School of Wilmington Team A is the winner of the 2019 Delaware Envirothon competition held April 11 at Delaware State University’s Outreach and Research Center near Smyrna. This is the school’s 20th win in the event’s 24-year history, including an unbroken winning streak since 2002. Charter School of Wilmington Team C finished second and Charter School of Wilmington Team B placed third in the Envirothon competition.

The Envirothon is a Delaware Association of Conservation Districts (DACD) program with sponsorship and staff support from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. This year’s 17 competing Envirothon teams from eight high schools and one 4-H club statewide – Calvary Christian Academy, Charter School of Wilmington, Delaware Military Academy, Dover High School, Middletown High School, Newark Charter School, Polytech High School, Sussex Tech High School and Peach Blossom 4-H Club – worked hard all school year to prepare for the event.

Each team answered questions, reviewed specimens and took measurements in topics dealing with aquatic ecology, soils/land-use, wildlife, forestry, air quality and the current environmental issue of “Agriculture and the Environment: Knowledge and Technology to Feed the World.” Teams also had to give a seven-to-10-minute oral presentation of a scenario based on the current environmental issue. After more than three hours of testing, Charter School of Wilmington Team A was crowned the 2019 state champion. They will now represent Delaware at the National Conservation Foundation International Envirothon held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina in late July.

Each member of the winning team earned a $500 scholarship from the Delaware Envirothon and other prizes. The winning team will also receive an award plaque for their school. The second through seventh place teams received more than $2,400 in special team awards and cash prizes. Special cash awards for the top three teams in Air Quality, Forestry, and Soils were provided by DNREC Division of Air Quality, the Delaware Forestry Association, and the Pocomoke Chapter – Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Prizes in the form of gift cards and ribbons were awarded to the top seven teams. The official results are as follows:
First place: Charter School of Wilmington Team A
Second place: Charter School of Wilmington Team C
Third place: Charter School of Wilmington Team B
Fourth place: Peach Blossom 4-H Club
Fifth place: Middletown High School
Sixth place: Delaware Military Academy
Seventh place: Newark Charter School

Since its inception, the Delaware Envirothon has awarded $60,000 in scholarships to 120 students (these numbers are updated from last year’s release). It is hosted by the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts (DACD), which is a voluntary, non-profit association that coordinates conservation efforts statewide to focus on natural resource issues identified by Delaware’s three local districts.

For more information about the Delaware Envirothon, please visit www.delawareenvirothon.org or contact Rick Mickowski at 302-832-3100 ext. 113.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 95

-End-