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Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.  We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements. 

Amazing Kids! of the Month for October, 1998: 
Project EARTH students, Monterey Highlands School, 
Monterey Park, California

Project EARTH logo
This month we highlight the amazing work of the kids from Project EARTH at Monterey Highlands School in Monterey Park, California.

What is Project EARTH?

Project EARTH (Environmental Awareness Research Through Hands-On Activities) is dedicated to connecting students to our environment. 

Image of Project EARTH logos

Through its goals and principles, seventh grade students become "actively" involved in science.  Project EARTH stresses scientific exploration, environmental concerns, good communication skills, and connects students to community resources. 

These amazing 7th graders from Project EARTH at Monterey Highlands School really know how to take charge!  Their amazing teacher, Founder and Director of Project EARTH John Jackson, gives his students complete responsibility for keeping Project EARTH running smoothly.  Students are assigned special titles for their different jobs, like "Chief of Staff," and "Press Secretary," -- just like they were adults working in these jobs in the "working world." 

Project EARTH student staff members get to learn about what it takes to be a "Chief of Staff" and other professional jobs for an organization.  This great experience will really help them when they graduate and apply for an actual  paying job as adults!  (Employers who are hiring new employees love to see such experience on a resume!)
Monterey Highlands School, Monterey Park, California

Monterey Highlands School

Home of Project EARTH
One of their way cool projects is their very own Geophysical Data Center, located on the Project EARTH website, located at:  This year, Project EARTH students have an additional 8 computers and direct Internet access, to help them do their science research.  Mr. Jackson, their teacher and Project EARTH director says:  "Look for lots of exciting science from the students!"

The latest breaking earthquake news:
Students from the Geophysical Data Center hold a press conference to read their latest Earthquake Bulletin.
From left to right:  Sonja Fontana, Sara Tso, Raffie Ruiz

The students in charge of the Data Center track earthquakes around the world on a daily basis, and they post regular Earthquake Bulletins announcing the size (magnitude) and location of the earthquakes after they occur!  The Data Center also contains a lot of other really interesting facts and information about earthquakes!  These hard-working, dedicated students are in charge of making sure the information is accurate and updated regularly.

What's Shakin'?
Geophysical Data Center Director Raffie Ruiz and Press Secretary Sara Tso
are pictured above, confirming their earthquake information.
Learn More:

See the list of the Amazing student staff members of Project EARTH!
Read a *program description of Project EARTH! (*of special interest to educators)
Read about the Amazing Teacher who is behind Project EARTH!
Amazing Geophysical Links on the Internet
Visit the  Project EARTH website and read some great articles written by some amazing students! 

Read about the amazing Project EARTH and Monterey Highlands School achievements!

Contact Project EARTH

Where in the world?
Sophia Lee and Raymond Hang help identify the epicenter of a recent quake.

Project EARTH Program Description

Project EARTH is part a science program called Impact Science, which "integrates the sciences and technology with a passion." 

Here's what Project EARTH director Mr. John Jackson says about Project EARTH:  "In the highest sense, Project EARTH (Environmental Awareness Research Through Hands-on activities) is dedicated to connecting students to our environment.  Project EARTH stresses scientific research, good communications skills, and deep concern for the environment."

Impact Science Consists of Several Main Components:

  • A Geophysical Research Data Center is a computer technology center utilized to monitor earthquake, volcanic, and scientific events worldwide. 
  • Impact Science Magazine is a scholarly written student magazine. 
  • Student Science Symposium connects students with the scientific community and the Internet.
  • Environmental and Earth Science field study trip to Death Valley National Park. (one of the most popular activities for the students! Read what students have to say about it on the Project EARTH website!)
Activities and Goals of Each Component:


  • Analyze, research, collect data and report on earthquake and volcanic events worldwide
  • Issue press releases/bulletins and news briefings relating to geophysical events
  • Train a cadre of students in the operations of computers/Internet
  • Increase student's knowledge and awareness of our geophysical world
  • Develops students writing skills
  • Serves as an assessment tool
  • Promotes student self-esteem
  • Increase communication between students, parents and the community
  • Connects students with community resources
  • Increases students' oral language skills
  • Evaluates student progress
  • Demonstrates how students can take responsibility for their own education
  • Improve scientific literacy
  • Involve students in active learning
  • Link science with Language Arts and other curricular
  • Build a strong connection in students for our physical environment.
State of California Seventh Grade Science Content Standards:
  • Cell Biology 
  • Genetics 
  • Evolution 
  • Earth and Life History (Earth Science) 
  • Structure and Function In Living Systems
  • Physical Principles in Living Systems (Physical Science) 
Instructional Methods Include:
  • Oral presentations. 
  • Model building and student-developed projects. 
  • Networking between school, community, and the Internet 
  • Science process skills observing, comparing, ordering, relating, inferring, applying, etc. 
  • Cooperative learning environment (while fostering independence) 
  The Desired Outcomes Include:
  • To improve scientific literacy. 
  • To involve students in "active" learning
  • To link science with Language Arts and other curricula.
  • To use appropriate technology. 
  • To prepare young scientists for the 21st century. 

Project EARTH Computer Use Policy:

To ensure proper application of computers and the Internet, their use is limited to academic research. Our policy is focused forwards aiding education and academic research.

How to Contact Project EARTH:

Monterey Highlands School
400 Casuda Canyon Drive
Monterey Park, CA 91754

Phone: (626) 308-2723
Fax: (626) 308-2724
On the Internet at:

Amazing Student Staff Members
of Project EARTH!

Future seismologists...
Joanna Li (right), Director of Communication, discusses her communication plan 
with her fellow Project EARTH experts, Sonja and Hyatt.
Jennifer Song
Chief of Staff

Aileen Inthisane
Chief Financial Officer

Sara Tso
Press Secretary

Sandy Hayashi
Director of Publications

Edward Kuoy
Editor In Chief
Impact Science Magazine

Joanna Li
Director of Communication

Andrew Quintana
Staff Photographer

Milo Tam
Director of Environmental Affairs

Raffie Ruiz
Director of the Geophysical Data Center

Gina Liang
Director of Technology

Sophia Lee
Administrative Assistant

Sonja Fontana
Fund Raising

Amazing Teacher!
Mr. John Jackson
Director of Project EARTH
Monterey Highlands School
Monterey Park, California
Mr. Jackson and some of the Project EARTH Amazing Kids!
at the Amazing Kids! booth at Kids Day LA '98,
Griffith Park, Los Angeles.
Pictured Left to Right: Raffie Ruiz, Edwin Gvalavech, David Lai, 
Mr. Jackson,Trisha Tom, Kelli Lui

Under the incredible, untiring dedication and direction of Project EARTH director, Mr. John Jackson, Project EARTH student staff members have been able to accomplish amazing things!  Here is a list of some of the many awards and honors bestowed upon the students of Project EARTH and of Monterey Highlands School: 

Amazing Achievements!

  • Grand prize and Second Place, California Youth Energy Awards.
  • Honored students traveled to Sacramento and Washington represent the Alhambra School District and the State of California at the National Energy Education Development Projects competition;
  • Monterey Highlands School First, Second, and Third Place, California Youth Energy Award.; Honored students traveled to Sacramento to receive the "California Youth Energy Award" from the First Lady, Gayle Wilson;
  • Student Science Symposium chosen 1995 Middle School Project of the Year for the State of California;
  • Monterey Highlands School Commendation, Alhambra School District Board of Education; 
  • Monterey Highlands School, Winner of the Los Angeles County Plan-It EARTH Environmental Youth Fair;
  • Monterey Highlands School; Environmental Education Award, California Arboretum Foundation;
  • Monterey Highlands School Earth Day Celebration;
  • Project EARTH students' environmental study trip to Death Valley;
  • Project EARTH Commendations California; Senate and Legislative Assembly, and, city and Mayor of Monterey Park;
  • Monterey Highlands School Commendation, California State Senate Resolution No. 2490 (initiated by Senator Hilda Solis); and,
  • Tapestry Grant Toyota/National Science Teachers Association.

Amazing Geophysical Links

Calling All Amazing Kids!  We Need Your Help!

If you are, or know any kids who are, doing amazing things, we want to hear about it

We will try to put your story on the website, or possibly in our educational television program, but please be patient...there are LOTS of great stories out there...but only one"Amazing Kids! of the Month" story per month.  We would love to be able to print everyone's storytoday, but it is not possible. 

Please be patient, and we will do our best to tell your story some day -- hopefully soon! 

Back to the Amazing Kids! of the Month Index

For more information about Amazing Kids!, please contact Alyse Rome, Executive Director, at:
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