Windsor Middle School students win honors and raise awareness with radon posters | MyWindsorNow.com

Windsor Middle School students win honors and raise awareness with radon posters

James Redmond
jredmond@mywindsornow.com

Two Windsor Middle School students won first and second place in this year's statewide radon awareness poster contest.

Windsor sixth-grader Lucy Dreyer won first place with her poster, "Got Radon?" which features a strong message of, "Test to put your mind at rest!"

Because she won first place in Colorado, her poster advanced on to the National Radon Poster Contest sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she placed third, said her teacher, Brent Carmichael.

"I feel very happy and excited because I feel like I worked hard on my poster and it all paid off," Dreyer said Wednesday. "I came up for the idea of my poster because I kind of based it off of the saying, 'Got Milk?' Also I thought the simple drawing of the house (would catch) your attention."

Zach Eaton, another Windsor Middle School sixth-grader, received second-place honors in the statewide contest.

Both are students in Carmichael's class. In November, his class starts learning about the periodic table and the elements, he said. The poster contest lets students get hands on and use artistic abilities in addition to the rest of their learning in the unit, Carmichael said.

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He's had students submit posters to the contest for about 10 years now. In the past, some students managed to place second or third. This is the first year his students managed to claim first and second place, Carmichael said.

"This contest is a fun way to educate children and encourage residents to test their homes for radon," said Chrystine Kelley, radon program manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "It's easy to do, and it's the only sure way to tell whether or not your home is affected by radon, which occurs naturally in the soil."

Long-term exposure to radon — a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas — is the most frequent cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Exposure to radon is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year, which is why testing is crucial.

Learn about radon

To learn more about radon and to get a free test kit go online to http://www.coloradoradon.info.

The website also has a list of certified contractors and other resources, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Information also is available from the department’s Radon Hotline at 1-800-846-3986.