Coltan: A Conflict Mineral
1st Place

2019 Middle School Winners

2019 Protecting Human Rights

By: Eleanor Bennett, Lucille Benavides & Noa Biener

Shorewood Intermediate School
Shorewood, WI

Eleanor Bennett, Lucy Benavides, and Noa Biener are seventh graders at Shorewood Intermediate school in Shorewood, Wisconsin. They found out about the contest in their World Geography class. Their teacher, Kristina Stridde, assigned the contest and Lucy shares that she was excited because, “we don’t do many group projects this is one of the first big ones I’ve been a part of and I think it’s good for us to build teamwork skills.” The girls originally had their hearts set on tackling the issue of fossil fuels under the Sustainable Resource Use topic, that is until Eleanor stumbled on an article about coltan, how its mined, and the impacts it has on miners.

Lucy and Eleanor are new to filmmaking, while Noa has dabbled with WeVideo in the past to make a video about the negative impacts of plastic. As new filmmakers the group ran into some challenges, from decision making in a group setting to finding the best way to communicate outside of the classroom. They shared some lessons learned with us: “A big lesson learned applicable to our experience is learning to communicate especially on a project this large” said Eleanor. “Plan meetings and check-ins,” added Noa.

Eleanor is involved in stage management for theatre and is on Shorewood’s track and field team. When she isn’t at school, she enjoys reading and rock climbing. She’s interested in travel and learning new languages. In just the past year she’s been to Germany, Denmark, and Mexico! Eleanor is interested in neurology. She tells us, “we don’t know everything about the brain and it’s so complicated and powerful so it seems interesting to do research on.” She looks up to Greta Thunberg, who’s been a vocal advocate for action on climate change, and hopes to get involved in activism and politics, too. Lucy is an artist and loves to draw, so much so that her bedroom is decorated in her drawings. At school she plays softball and recently participated with the drama club for a production of James and the Giant Peach. Lucy’s future career goals are to go to law school to be either a Humanitarian Rights, Immigration, or Criminal Defense lawyer. Lucy’s family of six includes a chocolate lab named MudBud, and a cat named Twilight (named by Lucy’s sister). She loves television and music; favorites include, The Office, Criminal Minds, Twenty One Pilots, and David Bowie. Noa has a passion for music and plays three musical instruments: trumpet, guitar, and piano. When she isn’t playing music she also loves to read and write, and most recently a poem she wrote, Changing Perceptions, won second place at the Shorewood Public Library Short Story and Poem Contest. Noa is a straight A student and takes a lot of pride in the amount of effort and hard work she puts into school. Her future career goals are to become a OB-GYN. Noa has two brothers and is she could have one superpower it would be to have all the superpowers!