Help planning for the decades ahead for Washington Island wastewater treatment concerns is coming from a group of eighth graders. At the guidance of their teacher Miranda Dahlke, the team of students at Washington Island School is using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering, and math to tackle the topic, which brought national acclaim to the island over 30 years ago. During the course of their project, the students will have to take a look at a number of wastewater treatment solutions and their impact during the busier summer season and slower winter time. The school has already earned $20,000 in a technology grant from Samsung to help continue their project. It is something principal Michelle Kanipes takes tremendous pride in seeing.
The team of students could earn as much as $150,000 in additional grants for the state’s smallest school district if their project is chosen in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. Island resident and teacher Donna Briesmeister says during the summer over one million gallons of septic waste is spread, compared to just 70,000 in the winter.