Baldwin Middle School student, Chisom Ubah, grade 8, won 4th place in her age category with her Spotted Lanternfly poster in the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area, LIISMA, Invasive Species Prevention Poster Contest.
The contest aimed to educate children, parents, and teachers about invasive species and their impact on Long Island’s environment, agriculture, and recreation. All winning students were awarded prizes, which varied based on their contest placement, and included cash prizes, boot brushes, native plants, gift cards, among other items.
Baldwin Middle School teacher, Francesco Iannucci, incorporated this opportunity into a project-based invasive species research study in his science classes during their Ecology/Invasive Species Unit. The Unit focused on organisms that are plaguing Long Island, most specifically the Baldwin Community. Students researched an invasive species of their choice and discovered ways to combat the threat that it poses.
“By actively engaging with real-world challenges, students develop a profound appreciation for environmental sustainability and the significance of preserving biodiversity. Students were encouraged to communicate their findings in the modality of their choice,” Iannucci explained. “Once Chisom heard about the contest, she jumped at the opportunity to incorporate her artistic skills to help spread awareness as well as showcase her newfound learning. Chisom’s project not only conveyed complex ecological concepts in an exceptionally clever and talented way, but also helped cultivate a deep sense of empathy and stewardship for the natural world. I am very proud of her amazing work!”
“At Baldwin Middle School, we take pride in our commitment to growing well-rounded individuals, instilling the values of good citizenship, and nurturing children who evolve into caring adults—individuals who extend their concern not only to one another but also to the environment and the world at large,” Erica Taylor, interim principal of Baldwin Middle School, said.
“Chisom Ubah’s victory stands as a shining testament of the dedication that our students exhibit each day, as they work to make this world a better place.”
The poster contest winners were announced during the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week, which is dedicated to educating people on the dangers of invasive species and how to prevent their spread.