Escambia School District, UWF Honor Top Summer Science Students

August 2, 2017

Future environmental health advocates from the Escambia County School District presented their Capstone projects to wrap-up the UWF Environmental Health Scholars 8-week summer program.

“This was our fourth year in this partnership and each year we have the pleasure of working with some amazing local high school students. They make me feel good about our environmental futures,” said Aisha Adkison, Health Science Specialist, in the ECSD Workforce Education Department. “These students dedicated three days a week for eight weeks of their summer vacation to learning more about our world and a vast variety of environmental challenges. They each select a research topic and prepare a Capstone project.”

The program is funded on a subcontract for over $100,000/yr for 5 years through the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program (GRHOP) administered by the Center for Gulf Coast Environmental Health Research, Leadership & Strategic Initiatives, School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, Tulane University. The grant covers training for secondary education teachers from the region, specialized equipment and supplies for those teachers’ classrooms and the summer program for students. Selected students spend three days a week at UWF with public health faculty, Dr. Enid Sisskin and Dr. George Stewart.

Project topics included, the 21st Century War on Science, GMOs, pandemics, climate change, the dangerous cumulative effect of littering, storms’ effect on the ozone layer, anthrax and a look at the U.S./Mexico border challenge from the perspective of its effect on animals. Another student took a hard look at anxiety and tied it to the other topics because, as she pointed out, how can any of us go out and fix any of these other environmental problems if anxiety keeps us trapped inside.

The results were:
1st Place: Madison Kemp, Ernest Ward Middle graduate and a Florida Virtual School student. Her topic was: The Effects of Manmade Climate Change on Global Health.

2nd Place: Tyra Williams, a rising senior in the Health Academy at Pensacola High School. Her topic was: How Facts Became Opinions: The 21st Century War on Science.

3rd Place: Tyler Motts, an Environmental Science student from Pine Forest High School, His topic was: The Environmental Impact of the US – Mexico Border.

Statements made during the presentations started with facts, data, graphs and images. But project requirements also directed the students to reach their own conclusions, reflect on what they learned and state their opinions. One student did a great job of summarizing a conclusion shared no matter what the topic, “We need to care. Humans must take a stand, because we are our own worst enemy.”

Pictured: Tyra Williams (left), second place winner, and Madison Kemp, first place winner. Courtesy photo for, click to enlarge.


One Response to “Escambia School District, UWF Honor Top Summer Science Students”

  1. Mrs. Ellis on August 2nd, 2017 1:18 pm

    Congratulations to all three scholars but I must admit I am ESPECIALLY proud of my former student, Madison Kemp!!
    I look forward to hearing a plethora of accomplishments in your life!

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.