Student Project Showcase

2024 Showcase Recap

We had an outstanding time hosting the 2024 Groundswell Student Project Showcase on May 15, 2024. We had 27 schools showcasing their hard work on projects covering numerous topics such as watersheds, native plants, climate change, and more! We had wonderful attendance from students, educators, community partners, and supporters. Attendees enjoyed touring the exhibits, learning from students, sharing a picnic dinner, playing yard games, participating in hands-on activities, and coming together as a community to celebrate exceptional, young environmental stewards.

Read an article about the event from GV Next here!

Click here to check out another article from School News Network!

2023-2024 Sprout and Swell Teachers of the Year

At our 2024 Student Project Showcase on May 15, Groundswell announced the recipients of our 2023-2024 Swell and Sprout Teacher of the Year awards.

2024 Sprout Teacher of the Year

The Sprout Teacher of the Year award is for a teacher who is new to the Groundswell community. This award is bestowed upon an educator who has worked with Groundswell for two years or less, who has excelled in their work engaging their students outdoors and gone above and beyond in their stewardship project work. 

2024 Sprout Teacher of the Year with Groundswell Staff

2023-2024 Sprout Teacher of the Year

Becky Bravata recieved the 2023-2024 Sprout Teacher of the Year Award. Becky is a 6th Grade Language Arts & Social Studies teacher at Kraft Meadows Intermediate School. This year, she worked with her students to install a native plant garden outside their classroom to increase biodiversity on campus and provide a pollinator habitat to local wildlife. Congratulations, Becky Bravata!

2023-2024 Swell Teacher of the Year Award Recipient

Our second award, the Swell Teacher of the Year Award, which goes to an educator who has worked with Groundswell for over five years, whose instruction and project work exemplify the program’s mission and whose efforts at their school manifest in supporting our local community and educating lifelong environmental stewards. 

2023-2024 Swell Teacher of the Year Award Recipient with Groundswell Staff

2023-2024 Swell Teacher of the Year

The 2023-2024 Swell Teacher of the Year Award goes to Grand Rapids Montessori School E2 teacher Michelle Holliday. Michelle has been a Groundswell educator for over ten years and has brought other building educators into our network. At school, Michelle’s students work daily in their cafeteria to improve campus composting and recycling, raised salmon in the classroom, conducted school-wide educational campaigns on waste reduction, collected data on local water quality, expanded the campus native plant gardens, and took multiple field trips across West Michigan to learn more about their environment and community. In 2023-2024, her fourth through sixth grade students focused on learning more about their watershed, taking classes out into the community doing regular trash cleanups, clearing storm drains, and creating posters to raise awareness. Congratulations, Michelle Holliday!

2025 Student Project Showcase

This page has information regarding our annual Showcase celebration event. Specific details will be updated closer to the 2025 event. Details for the event are organized into categories of attendees for the event. Information for each group, including what to bring, when to arrive, and other details can be found in those sections. Click the button on the right or scroll down to visit those sections of this webpage. 

Questions about this annual event? Contact our staff at [email protected]

Showcase table exhibit photo with students standing by their trifold poster presentation
Showcase table exhibit partners outside with students
Showcase table exhibit photo with students standing behind poster presentation

General Event Info

Spread the Word

Invite family, friends, colleagues, and administrators. 

Print or email and send the below flyer out to your network. Please share this event via social media, on your classroom or organization website, in your newsletter, and by word of mouth!

What is Showcase?

This annual event is free and open to the public. Groundswell is proud to celebrate the work of student stewards every year in an interactive event with participating K12 schools. This event includes a short keynote from the GVSU Provost and the Dean of the College of Education and Community Innovation; an exhibit fair; indoor and outdoor games for children and families; a picnic dinner; and a raffle for students. Schools and participating community partners host exhibit tables and offer insight for attendees about their community stewardship activities. 



Where and When is Showcase?

2025 Dates, Time, and Location is to be Determined

Volunteer Sign Up

This event is a success every year because of the many helping hands who work to pull it off. Groundswell is looking for parents or other chaperones to be there to support and help keep students on task. If you know of anyone who wants to help at the event, they can register here when the event gets closer.

Showcase Info: Schools & Teacher Teams

School & Teacher Team Arrival Time: TBD

Registration for schools/teachers teams will be opening closer to the event.

Blue background, showcase checklist for teachers


Make sure all depicted students AND students presenting at Showcase have signed photo releases:

Photo Release Form English

Formulario de Publicación de Fotografía

Submit these releases to Groundswell in whatever way is most convenient. You can:

  1. Bring these signed releases and hand them to Groundswell staff at showcase
  2. Scan them and email them to Groundswell staff at [email protected]
  3. Drop them into your Groundswell School Google Drive Folder

Exhibit & Artifact Guidelines

Create a table exhibit to educate the public about your project.

Exhibit tables are student-chosen. You can bring a posterboard, diorama, slideshow, photo collage, your choice of interactive activity, or something else that best represents your students’ work on the project. Exhibit displays, posters, artifacts, and other project materials* should include the following:

  1. Title of project
  2. Name of school
  3. Grade level(s) of students involved
  4. Overall theme of project
  5. Key outcomes, take-aways, etc.
  6. Displays are encouraged to include:
    1. Pictures of projects and students in action
    2. Models and information used to explain project
    3. Handouts with information and/or to encourage stewardship in others
    4. Interactive activities

Schools: Showcase FAQs

Q: Does my school need to be there?

A: Every school (meaning every teacher team) must register for showcase and have students prepare an exhibit table for the event. 


Q: What is the purpose of the Showcase?

A: Groundswell requires its participating schools to send student representatives to showcase to present on the year's stewardship project. Members of the community attend, including families, friends, community partners, local businesses, and faculty/staff of Grand Valley State University. Showcase gives the K-12 students a chance to see how their work impacts the adults and members of their community. The event also gives the students the amazing experience of engaging with like-minded peers, and exposes them to other young and passionate scholars there are in their community. The event is also a great way for students to meet the partners and sponsors who made their project happen, and to learn about professional opportunities in the environmental field in their area. It's good experience for students to present in a science fair and semi-professional setting as well. Showcase provides the foundations and grantors who sponsor these projects the opportunity to both observe the great work in action and also to see that the "community impact" requirement of the stewardship projects are honored (see our Groundswell Rubric for a full list of requirements for our Groundswell schools).


Q: What's the Showcase registration deadline?

A: Date TBA, 2025.


Q: Will there be food for everyone?

A: Yes. We will provide dinner for all, including parents and families! Picnic style, with multiple dietary options, and food will be available throughout the event. 


Q: What is the schedule for the evening?

A: Our Showcase Program is coming soon.


Q: How many students should attend as table presenters?

A: Please have five or more students attend showcase, and at least one student at your table during the event. 


Q: Where are the table exhibits located?

A: Indoors in the DeVos Lubbers Exhibition Hall and outside in covered areas of the DeVos Courtyard. 


Q: Does my class need to submit a Groundswell video this year?

A: No, there is no video requirement this year.  We are only asking your school to bring an artifact (posterboard, diorama, slideshow, photo collage, your choice of interactive activity) for your exhibit table.


Q: I might not get there one time because of my school's dismissal time. What do I do? 

A: Please arrive as soon as you can, and let Groundswell staff know if you need a volunteer to watch your table and greet students/families on your behalf. 


Q:  How many students can we bring to represent our school? Do they need to register?

A: We are not asking for kids/families to register and are planning the event based on previous years (about 350 attendees annually). Indicate the number of students you estimate attending on your registration form (above). 


Q:  Do students need to be at our exhibit table during the event? 

A: Yes, student(s) need to be at your table during the event. If they want to step away to be with family/eat, they 1) Need to be supervised at all times and 2) You or another adult need to cover the table during a short student absence. Kids can alternate attending the table too.

Showcase Info: Community, Friends, & Family

Community, Friends, & Family Arrival Time: TBD

Every spring Groundswell Stewardship Initiative hosts a special event to showcase the great work happening in our area. Join the Groundswell community at our annual Student Project Showcase, which features a student project exhibit fair, engagement activities for students and families, and special remarks from several distinguished guests. Groundswell strives to center education in our community and empower our students to be leaders in addressing social and ecological issues. This event is designed to celebrate our young scholars, who are making these changes possible. All are welcome at this public event! 

What to Expect

  • A short keynote, include an event welcome from the GVSU Provost and acknowledgements by the Dean of the College of Education and Community Innovation
  • pK12 student project exhibits
  • Local community partner exhibits and interactive activities
  • Indoor and outdoor games for all ages
  • A picnic-style dinner
  • A raffle for 18 and under attendees

Download the Community, Friends, & Family Showcase Flyer

Showcase Info: Participating Partners

Participating Partners Arrival Time: TBD

Showcase is an opportunity for community partners who have worked with Groundswell schools during the academic year to engage with those scholars, answer questions and chat with their friends and family, and get exposure. Over 300 people attend Student project Showcase every year! 

All partners are expected to have at least one staff member available at their exhibit table for the duration of the showcase (1.5 hours).

Only partners who worked with a school as part of a Groundswell project this academic year are eligible to host exhibit tables.


Registration form will be available closer to the event.


Showcase is meant to be interactive for students, friends, and family this year. If you host a table, please bring activities for K-12 students and parents.

Page last modified June 10, 2024