All year long, WKYC will be spotlighting Girls in STEM, an initiative that inspires girls to embrace science, technology, engineering and math.

Students at Willoughby Eastlake's School of Innovation recently tackled a big project. From start to finish, they helped restore a portion of Euclid Creek.

With the creek's close proximity to the school it's presented a prime opportunity for the students to gain hands on experience and get them out in the mud to solve a problem.

Fourth graders from the school are planting live stakes along the East bak of the Creek. The stakes aren't sticks, they're dormant shrub cuttings that will grow roots to help stabilize the creek's banks and soak up floodwaters.

The process the students are using is called bio-engineering; using plants to keep soil in place and provide habitat for wildlife. The kids planted 600 live stakes plus over 200 trees as part of this project.  They even helped put cages around the young trees so deer don't make a meal of them.

The Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District got students involved from the start; they helped put a "natural" plan together. An undersized culvert was removed. Rocks were put at the base of the banks to keep things in place. The banks were then laid back to form a gentle slope and invasive plants like cattails out of here.

The kids will now work on signage and will actually give tours and teach others about this science project from their new outdoor classroom. And oh yeah, that mud there was plenty of it but even the girls embraced it.

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