MADISON - A Mineral Point fifth-grader won top honors in the Invasive Species Awareness Month poster contest open to Wisconsin fourth- and fifth-graders. Nicholas DuBois' winning design, and most of the posters submitted by students, will be displayed at the Capitol rotunda from June 7 through June 21.
DuBois, a student at Mineral Point Elementary, and other poster contest winners were honored today by the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council during a ceremony at Olbrich Botanical Garden in Madison.
Poster contest winner Nicholas DuBois of Mineral Point Elementary School with Jack Sullivan, DNR's representative to the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council that sponsored the contest.
Yashav Patel, a student at St. Frances Cabrini in Oshkosh, won second place and Morgan Wendel, a student at Shell Lake School in Shell Lake, won third place.
The poster contest is part of activities marking Invasive Species Awareness Month and sponsored by the council, an advisory group to the Department of Natural Resources. The theme this year was, "Protecting the Places Where You Play," and more than 400 students submitted posters. The winning design and the two runner up designs are displayed on EEK!, DNR's Environmental Education for Kids website.
Council Chair Paul Schumacher said that the poster contest winners and all students who submitted designs inspire people to keep Wisconsin's special places free of invasive species.
"The fight to reduce existing invasive species' populations and keep new invasives out of Wisconsin will be a long and hard battle for many years to come," he said. "We would not be able to do it without these children - the next generation of environmental stewards - and many other committed citizens."
In addition to the winners, other students and an entire class received recognition for their designs.
Mary Roberts' fourth-grade class at Rusch Elementary in Portage received a special honorable mention award for their designs and participation.
"During science I like to highlight important 'current' science events which are always very engaging to my fourth graders," Roberts said. "We first discussed how June was Invasive Species Awareness month. I told the students we would be learning about invasive species in Wisconsin and making a poster about one of their choices for the contest. We read about the invasive species on the EEK! site.
"Each student picked one of the species they felt was the most interesting to them. It was important to me as a teacher to have my students work on that assignment because I try to integrate as much of the curriculum I can."
Others students receiving honorable mention awards for their contest entries were Olivia Doro, of Rusch Elementary in Portage; Yasmin Mirhashemi of St. Mary's School in Greenville;
Rosebud Ann Johnson and Cassandra Gripentrog of Nasonville Elementary School in Marshfield.
Mia Maslowski and Nora Sammons of St. Frances Cabrini in Oshkosh, and Kaleigh Fitzgerald of Magee Elementary School in Genesee Depot, also received honorable mentions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Caitlin Kohlbeck, 414-263-8712; Chrystal Schreck, 608-264-8590