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STEM Examples in SLWRP


The Service-Learning Waste Reduction Project presents many opportunities for schools to address environmental challenges throught the application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Examples:

Castlemont GardenCastlemont GardenEast Oakland's Green Pioneers at Leadership Public School on the Castlemont Campus are leading an effort to expand access to healthy food. In addition to advocacy and organization work attempting to bring a farmers' market to campus, students are using science and engineering in their own garden to improve yields in order to provide more fresh food to students and their families. Students have set up experimental plots to study differences in fungal resistance between hybrid and heirloom seeds. Community partners are working with students to design and build custom cold frames to extend the growing season from the garden's raised planter bed. As part of a community peace building effort, students are designing a large pond to promote reflection and scientific inquiry. One student is already working on a remote control robot submarine to help monitor the health of the pond. Students are working hard to live up to their motto: "Green is Good for Every Neighborhood." (More)

Cleaning the TidelineCleaning the TidelineScience scores at Wood Middle School in Alameda have risen dramatically since teachers began engaging students in environmental stewardship and study on campus, in the community, and at the beach. Students regularly participate in beach clean-up activities where the items they collect are meticulously catergoriezed and studied. Based on the data students collect, they initiate different projects to reduce the impact of marine debris on wildlife. For example, after discovering that most of the litter at the beach was plastic food packaging and noticing that healthier foods had less packaging, students organized a healthy eating campaign on campus. Now students are investigating persistent organic pollutants by collecting plastic nurdles for the international Pellet Watch project. Back on campus, students used data from an on-campus cafeteria waste audit and an understanding of global warming associated with anaerobic production of methane to advocate for and organize a food scrap diversion program on campus. (More)

In the midst of California's rolling blackouts in the mid-2000's, technology students at Irvington High School took on the challenge of reducing campus energy consumption. Students measured the energy use of all plug-in devices on campus and identified a variety of challenges. There were out of date appliances that were more expensive to operate than to purchase newer models with EnergyStar certification. Computers and peripherals were left on at all hours. Lights and ventilation were on even when students were not on campus. Using this data, students installed a program on the school's computer server to automatically shut down idle computers at night.They collected power strips and taught teachers and students how to use them to reduce "vampire" energy drain. Realizing that long term investment was needed to retire "energy hog" appliances and older computers, students organized e-waste collection fundraisers and used the proceeds to purchase energy efficient technology upgrades. By the end of the year, Irvington cut energy used by 33% and was recognized as a statewide Flex Your Power Winner by the Pacific Gas and Electric utility company. (More)

Students at Livermore High won a grant to build a portable recycling station in the gymnasium. The student grant winners worked with the Green Engineering Academy on campus to develop the design and specifications for the bin through a reverse engineering and modification process of existing systems. Once the engineering students complete the design, the plans will go to the ROP (Regional Occupational Program) where another set of students will build the stations.ยท(More)