U of R connects with Regina high school for Earth Day

By Natalie Tomczak Posted: April 22, 2015 10:30 a.m.

Students from Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School celebrating Earth Day and their collaborative science project with the University of Regina.
Students from Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School celebrating Earth Day and their collaborative science project with the University of Regina. Photo: U of R Photography.

Earth Day was celebrated April 22 with the launch of a collaborative science project between researchers at the University of Regina and students and teachers at Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School.

Drs. Tanya Dahms, Chris Yost and Scott Wilson from the Faculty of Science, have collaborated with the Regina high school on a project that uses the Plant Health Care Model.  

“We have found promising preliminary results using the Plant Health Care Model on campus, a safe and environmentally-friendly alternative to toxic pesticides,” says Dr. Dahms.

There are 14 students from Miller involved in the project led by their biology teachers Heather Haynes and Nicole Anderson. The students are examining the ecology of test plots.

The preliminary qualitative results indicate that the Plant Health Care Model plot had richer turf than the one that used pesticides - even without aeration, over seeding, and organic fertilizers.

“Anything that allows our students to participate in scientific investigations and to see how they unfold over the course of time, while using inquiry approaches, is of interest to Ms. Anderson and myself. This project provided our students the opportunity to collaborate with university professors in an effort to create ‘greener’ green spaces,” says Ms. Haynes.

Ms. Haynes and Ms. Anderson say this project is an excellent opportunity for their students to engage in purposeful scientific field work. Two of those students, Chantelle La Rocque and Adrian Muscat, realized the importance of a safe environment with the collaboration of science.

"Our research will have a remarkable impact on our environment and ensure a safe and better future for generations to come,” says La Roque.

Muscat agrees. “The research project has given us the opportunity to expand our knowledge and gain experience working in a research lab alongside professional researchers.”

Over the course of the project, students will have gained valuable insight about environmental challenges and the potential of scientific research as a career option.

Dr. Dahms’ application to the University of Regina’s Sustainability and Community Engagement Fund made this project a reality, while realizing the University’s Strategic Plan of its commitment to our communities and research impact.