JAY — Students from Spruce Mountain Middle School may not have earned the top prize in a video contest, but were named as having created the best video from Maine.

The video can be seen at the website tinyurl.com/smmssprinkles.

A video made by Spruce Mountain Middle School students has been deemed the best entry from Maine. Seen from left are students Robert Reed, Lily Bailey, Cecilia Pike, Skylar Condon and Alex Ladd during a presentation about the video for the Regional School Unit 73 directors Thursday, May 23. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

The students gave a presentation on their video and how it came about to the Regional School Unit 73 directors at their May 23 meeting.

Gifted and talented teacher Rob Taylor said he received a postcard about the annual contest from Worldof7billion.org. Participating students are asked to identify a real-world problem tied to population growth, come up with a solution and create a 1-minute video.

“It’s like a television commercial,” Taylor said. “The students did a lot of research, studied world population and the problems that poses. Two of the students had prior experience with my aquaponics system from LEGO League.

“Their video was named the top video in Maine. They were national finalists (but didn’t win).

“It’s quite an achievement. I’m proud of them.”

The video was shown. It talks about climate change and water pollution associated with current food production practices. By using aquaponics, raising fish and plants together, water is recycled and fish waste becomes nutrients for the plants. Two food sources are obtained for the price of one.

After the video ended, Cecilia Pike said the population in 1800 was 1 billion and has grown to 7.7 billion.

“We determined we could represent one billion people with a pound of sprinkles. In your lifetimes we have added 4 billion people to the planet,” she said.

Skylar Condon said they used eatingwell.com to figure out what a 2,000 calorie diet, or what the average person eats daily, looks like.

“It was a lot of food once you saw it and multiplied it by 7 billion,” she said.

Alex Ladd said they found that fish waste contains ammonia which bacteria change to nitrites then nitrates which the plants absorb for fertilizer.

“We did a lot of work with Mr. Taylor’s 200-gallon fish tank and learned how aquaponics produces food,” he said.

Lily Bailey said they used reliable sources to find information on diet, population and aquaponics.

Robert Reed said they had fun learning about ecosystems and aquaponics and how one thing affects another.

“It gave me something to look forward to every Tuesday afternoon. And we got to eat sprinkles,” he said.

Bailey said, “We learned how to cut video clips and how a high definition camera works.”

Condon said she learned ecosystems are made up of living and non-living things, all of which depend on each other.

Reed said, “We integrated all of our learning aspects (math, social studies, science and reading) into this project.”

Spruce Mountain High School teacher Kymberly Bryant did the videotaping; Lily Bailey’s father, Jeff Bailey, helped with editing and teaching the students how to act. Education technician Patricia Breton also assisted with the project.

According to the worldof7billion.org website, 2,726 videos were received for the contest, sponsored by Population Education, this year. 816, or 30 %, were from middle schools. An estimated 5,500 students participated.


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