COCONUT CREEK, Fla. — A group of sixth-grade students from North Broward Preparatory School have been busy the past few months on a science project that’s now gaining nationwide attention.
Lucie Brown, Jojo Doyle, James Coll, Simona Parodi, and Selina Xu call themselves the "Mangrove Miracles" and recently beat out more than 2,300 other students in the area to win the Lexus Eco Challenge.
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"The mangrove propagules starts out like this, so we measure it from here to see how much it has grown over the period of time that we’ve had them in our garden," said Doyle.
The five students have worked for weeks to grow their several dozen mangrove pods in a classroom garden.
"We video chat with other schools and organizations," said Coll.
So far, they’ve talked to students in Africa, Asia, and South America.
"My job is to translate the project into five different languages," said Xu.
Together, the kids hope to inspire others throughout the world to find a local keystone, or irreplaceable plant species that they can help repopulate in their own communities.
"I’m so proud that they are learning more about environmental activism and that they are taking a stand and they find it so important that they need to do something about the problems that we are facing with our world," said teacher Hope Kennedy.
The group plans to soon transfer their mangroves to a more permanent location on Deerfield Island Park. They are partnering with organizations like Mang to properly care for and learn more about the plant.
It’s unclear when the national competition will take place.