“I learned that I could adapt quickly to changing situations and problem solve when needed. A good example of this is how I quickly changed the project schedule when the pandemic started forcing shutdowns. I rearranged the cleanup dates and the education portion of the project so I could still be productive.”
Alexandra’s project addressed microplastics affecting aquatic ecosystems upon entering oceans from Wisconsin lakes and rivers traveling through the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico, as well as from the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Atlantic Ocean. Alexandra educated the community on preventing trash in our waterways and the impact of trash on wildlife. She also collected and shared extensive data with the Alliance for the Great Lakes on microplastics that her team collected from eight area beach clean-ups that she led. At the beach clean-ups, the participants collected 55 pounds of visible microplastics and Alexandra took water samples for AOSmith, who analyzed the samples’ water chemistry and non-visible microplastics. She also led a presentation with local Girl Scout Brownies and made YouTube videos, including information about microplastics and pollution in the Great Lakes to help them complete activities in their WOW! Wonders of Water Journey. These videos already have over 1,500 views.