Taylor Ball and Kyptin Watters beside their pop-up store outside Dr. Roy Wilson Learning Centre. The two have created a jewelry line, and for each piece sold, a tree will be planted by Trees Canada.–NEWS PHOTO SAMANTHA JOHNSONSAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Two student groups in the same Grade 8 class at Dr. Roy Wilson Learning Centre are among the top-10 projects – out of 275 proposals – in the Caring for our Watersheds contest.

On May 12, each will present their project proposals to a panel of judges in Wetaskiwin.

The students have been working on their respective projects for the past two months.

“Part of the goal leading up to Wetaskiwin is they had to implement their project,” explained teacher Parkor Thomas. “The project needed to not only be an idea, it had to be real.

“Now they are coming together to the panel of judges to say, ‘This is our idea, we are part of the finals you picked, we did the project and this is where our success was, this is the impact we made in our local community.’”

Each of the 10 finalist groups will win prize money, but the higher up each places, the more money they receive, with first place receiving $1,000. The school will also get a cheque so the groups can implement another project of their choice next year when they are in Grade 9.

Taylor Ball and Kyptin Watters created Trees and Beads and made a variety of bracelets and necklaces that are available for sale at $10 each and a tree will be planted for every piece sold.

“Trees and Beads started as a science project,” said Watters. “Our task was to come up with an idea on how we can improve the watershed in our environment.”

The pair partnered with Trees Canada, which will plant the trees.

This week, Ball and Watters had a pop-up store outside the school to sell their jewellery and, by Tuesday afternoon, had sold more than 50 pieces. Part of being successful in Wetaskiwin is showing initiative, and having store hours is only one of their ideas. Ball has sent emails to several organizations to garner support for their idea, had a radio interview and reached out to the News.

The two are passionate about their idea and the benefits it can provide. Trees and beads can be found on Instagram and TikTok or get in touch with them at TreesAndBeads@mail.com.

The second group is Stella Wagner, poet, and Paige Smyth, an artist who chose a different type of project.

“Ours is a poetry project with illustration that focuses on climate change. We are looking into getting it published to spread the word around,” explained Wagner.

The pair want to bring more awareness to Caring for Our Watersheds and are reaching out to local libraries and exploring the possibility of entering some youth writing contests.

The illustration shows a woman hiding her face and it ties into the poetry.

“The glaciers of the Earth are described as a young woman but it’s obvious it’s a glacier. Part of it is describing how she is dying, or her death, as a result of abuse from other people. The illustration ties into that,” stated Wagner.

For more information on the contest, visit https://caringforourwatersheds.com/.

By SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 12, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Medicine Hat News   Medicine Hat, Alberta

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