International students from ILS, under the leadership of Tatiana Vshovka, president of the Socio-Scientific Coordination Center "Zhivaya voda" (Living Water), were active participants in the XII International Youth Environmental Conference "People and the Biosphere", held at the Biology and Soil Institute of the Far Eastern Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
One of the most interesting studies was a project by ILS ninth grader Emma Holm-Olsen entitled "The Great Amazon River".
"I lived in Brazil for three years and saw the Amazon with my own eyes," Emma explained. "There are many dams that have changed the course of the river and damaged the ecosystem. Some species have disappeared as a result of deforestation. I want to call people's attention to the environmental problems faced by the river and the tropical forests surrounding it."
Another excellent presentation at the conference was a report by ILS seventh grader Koh Suji called "Ways to preserve bananas in the home".
"I like bananas very much" said Suji, "so I decided to look for ways to keep them from spoiling. During my experiments, I discovered that if you wrap the base of the banana bunch in cellophane, the fruit stays fresh and tasty longer. The main thing is – never keep bananas in the refrigerator. It makes them spoil very fast since they cannot tolerate low temperatures."
For the 2016 conference, the organizers decided to create a prize in honor of the outstanding scholar and environmentalist Boris Vladimirovich Preobrazhensky. This prize, for "Best School Project", was awarded to eighth and ninth graders from ILS for their study "Evaluation of the Environmental Condition of Vtoraya Rechka (Second River) using Hydro-chemical and Hydro-biological Indicators". Project leaders included ILS teachers Lilia Lvova (Chemistry) and Irina Kholoden (Geography), along with Socio-Scientific Coordination Center "Zhivaya voda" president Tatiana Vshovka. The project report was presented at the conference by ILS ninth grader Ekaterina Drozdova.
The ILS students received high marks from the judges for their efforts at the regional stage of the Russian Water Projects Competition, and they were recommended for participation at the national level in Moscow, where they will attempt to demonstrate the superiority of Primorye Region among water resource students in Russia.
The panel of judges for the competition included biology PhD candidates Olga Kalinina, Irina Maslova, Viktoria Semal and Yulia Tatonova. The chairperson of the panel was Doctor of Biological Sciences Tatiana Tiunova.
More than 200 university and high school students presented the results of their studies on environmental problems, prompting conference participants to give think deeply about the destructive consequences of many consumers' thoughtless attitude towards nature.
"Our school devotes a great deal of attention to our students' science and project activities," noted ILS Director Olga Shevchenko. "We believe this is an important part of the educational process, and we provide our students with a wide range of opportunities to realize their ideas."