Hudson – Elizabeth Joki, a seventh-grade science teacher, and her co-applicant, Brian Blake, of JFK Middle School, in Hudson, have received a $2,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation for students to participate in the conservation of the Blanding's turtle, a threatened species in eastern Massachusetts.
In collaboration with wildlife biologists, students will raise and care for hatchlings, which will be released upon maturation and tracked via radio transmitters. Students will learn about scientific research methods, turtle ecology and biology, and the complexities of species conservation.
The grant is awarded in conjunction with Philippe Cousteau's environmental education nonprofit EarthEcho International and its Water Planet Challenge program, which supports service-learning initiatives that improve the health of our water planet. Grant recipients will have access to Water Planet Challenge's rich online resources, including: step-by-step action guides, video segments, discussion guides and downloadable resources.