One of my favorite memories of elementary school was a science project I completed on hydroponics. The scientific method, the research, growing tiny plants in all sorts of places and mediums - really, could anything be more fun? That project ignited a life-long love of science and a long-standing interest in how we grow our food. So what does that have to do with a real life Justice Girl? I'm glad you asked.
Enter Stage Right, one Ms. Stella Bowles, age twelve, from Nova Scotia (a place I've always wanted to visit). Stella (if I may) wanted to swim in the river. Her mom told her it wasn't a good idea because the water was contaminated. Stella decided she wanted to learn more. During a science project, Stella decided to sample the LaHave River. She found high levels of enterococcus bacteria that exceeded governmental guidelines. How bad was the water? Not only shouldn't you drink it, or boat in it; you shouldn't even touch it. No wonder her Mom told her to choose a new swimming spot. The source of the contamination? Illegal straight line sewage pipes that were discharging fecal matter straight into the river.
Now, the fact that raw sewage was entering the river wasn't a real surprise to many. So how did Stella manage to attract attention and drive political leaders to begin steps to make things right? Stella began posting her findings on a Facebook page devoted to her science project. The results went viral. She made the issue human and real, and politicians couldn't look the other way anymore.
Stella is a great example of a Justice Girl in action. She saw a problem, learned more about it, and told others what she found. She harnessed the power of social media and attracted the attention of the national media.
So, the next time you're assigned a science project (or any other school project), don't hesitate to think big and tackle a real problem. At the very least, you're going to learn something. If you're lucky, you might be able to teach others (including a few adults) something too!