Susan B. Anthony Students Working on Ways to Solve Revere’s Rat Problem

For the past year Mayor Brian Arrigo and the city have been collecting data and trying out different methods to curbing rats in the City of Revere.

Last year the Mayor ordered the Department of Public Works will supply every residential property in the city with a heavy-duty 65-gallon trash cart to dispose of trash. The rodent-proof barrels and changing trash collecting habits was one way to address the quality of life issue.

“Rats proliferate when there is a food supply, and when residents use flimsy trash bags or use careless trash bags or use careless trash disposal, it’s like setting out a meal for a rat,” Arrigo told the media about his plan.

Now, Mayor Arrigo may get an unlikely ally in the form of 7th graders from the Susan B. Anthony School.

Teachers Justin and Brandon Pezzuto have opted to have their students undertake a monumental research project that will come up with solutions for Revere’s rat problem.

While the students have to go through a Quality Performance Assessment the Pezzutos thought having the kids engage a real world issue may be more beneficial to their learning and the city than an ordinary multiple choice test.

“I think this is a little bit more engaging for kids to tackle real world problems,” said Justin Pezzuto. “I was at an event and heard Mayor Arrigo and some of the councillors talking about the city’s rat population. In our classroom we talk about ecology and thought we could mesh these things and at the same time give the students a voice in the community.”

Pezzuto said he and his students are in the research phase of the project right now and studying the behavior of rats and how they thrive in urban environments.

Seventh grader Harrison Arua said he and his class have been working on the project for almost the entire school year.

“The research we have worked on is finding out how rats thrive in their urban environments and later we are going to work on proposing different methods to help get rid of the rats in the environment,” he said. “The goal was to use the research to gather evidence on how rats thrive in their environments and later put forward solution and proposal for the city.”

Harrison said he was definitely more engaged in the project than taking a test.

“It has helped to teach me how to find solutions to real life problems, something you can’t do when taking a multiple choice test,” said Harrison. “Hopefully at the end we will find a solution to eradicate the rat problem in Revere.”
Mayor Arrigo said he was excited about the research and offered any help he can provide.

“I want to share any research we have to help these students come up with solutions,” he said. “The things we have done we have seen some improvements in the number of calls we get about rodents. I would like to share some of the data we have and some of the work we’ve done that might help with some of the solutions the students are working on.”

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