Bexley schools' science team returned this week from the Christopher Columbus Awards in Florida, having won the top award of a $25,000 community grant.

Bexley schools' science team returned this week from the Christopher Columbus Awards in Florida, having won the top award of a $25,000 community grant.

Team members performed their winning presentation for the school board Monday.

The team consists of Nan Boyle, Miranda Gammage and Meghan Heckman, all Bexley Middle School students, and Hannah Hood of Canal Winchester, a student at Madison Christian School and the daughter of Maryland Elementary principal Jon Hood. The team was coached by Maryland Elementary teacher Lindsay Young.

The competition required students to find solutions to problems in their community. The team researched the depletion of fossil fuels and found that methane gas is a byproduct of decomposing organic matter. They learned that landfills in the area are developing ways to use the methane as a fuel source.

The team will use the grant to work with Kurtz Brothers Composting, which is building a facility that will convert the methane from a local landfill into energy for the building, Young said.

The grant also will be used to educate the community on the benefits of burning methane as an alternative to fossil fuels, she said.