Craig Klotzbach

LaBrae High School
Leavittsburg, OH

Project Description:

Klotzbach’s winning program, “Taiga: An Interactive Environment,” is an artificial biome project developed by junior and senior-year students at LaBrae High School. Abhay Patel, Taylor Koby, Dan Misinay, and Karley Sullivan are the students who worked with Klotzbach to expand learning outside of the classroom and give students an opportunity to use their five senses to interactively study what is around them. For the program, participants will create the following four biomes: Taiga, Deciduous Forest, Tropical Rainforest, and Desert and place them in the school courtyard. The focus will be on the taiga biome that will include plants and trees to mimic taiga in a natural setting. White pine and eastern red cedar trees will be planted along with edible mushrooms and shrubs that will produce edible berries. This will allow students to not only look at the plants but also to taste the berries from the saskatoon berry, salal, thimbleberry and common juniper shrubs. By tasting, observing, reading, smelling, and hearing the various plants and artificial animals, Klotzbach, who lives in North Bloomfield, hopes the program will help stimulate environmental awareness and understanding for students more than just reading a textbook.