Kelly Caiazzo

The STEM EXPO’s Sustainability Challenge is back. Get ready Wellesley students!

Submit your project promoting a local resource, policy or behavior change that makes Wellesley greener. These can be in the form of an advertisement, op-ed or essay, video commercial, infographic, poem, music or another form of audio/visual artwork. Convince your audience that it’s a great way for them to help the environment!

Entry Criteria:

  • Submissions are welcome from K-12 students who are residents of Wellesley and/or enrolled in the Wellesley Public Schools

  • Deadline to enter is Friday, March 15, 2019

  • Entries must be entirely original content (no clips from movies or other videos)

  • Videos must be shorter than 3 minutes, essays must be fewer than 500 words, and infographics or advertisements must be legible on a single 8.5×11 page

  • Entry must explain the problem that you are proposing to solve, and how promoting a current local resource, policy change, or behavior change will make Wellesley greener.  The entry must provide a convincing argument for the positive impact this resource or activity can make.

  • Entries may be submitted by an individual, or a team of up to 3 students

  • Entries must include appropriate citation

Entry Submissions:

  • Submit your entry here

  • Entries to be uploaded on the WEF website must be less than 100mb

  • Submitting your entry authorizes [Wellesley Green Schools, etc.] to post either the submission, or a photo thereof, on display in public arenas in the township – including but not limited to public libraries, school display cabinets, or on the STEM Expo website.

  • Winning entries for Elementary, Middle and High School levels will be selected by Wellesley Green Schools

  • Winners will be recognized at the Wellesley STEM Expo on April 6, 2019 and receive a VIP tour of a featured exhibit, and have their project published in town newspapers by the Wellesley Education Foundation

Questions that Projects Should Answer and Topic Ideas

Questions to Answer:

  • What environmental problems does this organization/resource/behavior change help solve? Provide data or examples of how the environment is negatively impacted by this problem.

  • What is the positive impact of your topic? How does it help solve the problem? Be as specific and concrete as possible.

  • What can Wellesley residents do to help or how can they participate? Convince them this resource deserves their support or participation!

Resources:

The EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator:

https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator

The EPA’s Household Carbon Footprint Calculator:

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/household-carbon-footprint-calculator

The Water Footprint Calculator:

https://www.watercalculator.org

The Footprint Network:

https://www.footprintnetwork.org/

Remember to cite your sources when you’re providing specific data! We’ll accept any style citation, provided it’s clear where data in your project came from.

Topic Ideas:

Here are some ideas to get you started!

Reuse:

How can buying second-hand clothing reduce our environmental footprint? Create an ad for Shopper’s Corner, the Second Hand Store at Schofield: https://www.facebook.com/schofieldshopperscorner/

Or, create an ad for another reusability resource in town, such as the Wellesley Free Library (https://www.wellesleyfreelibrary.org/) or the Wellesley RDF reusables area (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhLOHGydhUM)

Gas Leaks:

After explosions in our state and general unhealthy aspects of gas coming into the state and into our homes, Wellesley’s NRC is concerned about gas leaks. Could you make Wellesley residents aware of this problem and to encourage national grid to fix them? Wellesley Gas Leaks: https://www.wellesleyma.gov/449/Gas-Leaks

Reduce Plastic Waste:

Reduce waste – use less plastic.  China is refusing more and more recycling, explain the plastic problem and provide some ideas and solutions for reducing plastic consumption in our town. What else can we do besides #SkipTheStrawWellesley:http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/skipthestrawwellesley/?

Transportation:

What are some options in town for reducing our reliance on single-occupancy vehicles? (Commuter rail, school buses, town bus, MBTA or carpool, walking, biking, etc.) Create an ad explaining the impact of transportation and providing some solutions. Or, create an ad explaining the effects of idling and encouraging people not to idle:http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/no-idling/

Environmental Food Choices:

How can making some easy switches with what we eat and how we dispose of leftovers add up to a positive impact for our planet? Meatless Mondays: https://www.meatlessmonday.com/ , Wellesley Public School’s Food Recovery: https://wellesleyma.gov/1127/School-Recycling-and-Food-Recovery The Wellesley RDF Food Waste Drop-Off Program:https://www.wellesleyma.gov/899/Food-Waste-Program or why to buy local food from The Wellesley Farmer’s Market:https://www.wellesleyfarmersmarket.com/, Shrink your food footprint: http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/shrink-your-food-footprint

Protect our Pollinators:

What we plant and the type of chemicals we use on our lawns and gardens has a real impact on our eco system. What happens to the lawn chemicals we use? How can we support pollinators in our community? Resources: Safer Lawns Initiative: Pledge to Be Pesticide Free – http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/pledge-to-be-pesticide-free/ and Sustainable Wellesley’s Milkweed for Monarchs: http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/milkweed-for-monarchs/

Energy at Home:

What are some ways to conserve our energy or get it from a more sustainable source? Resources: Wellesley’s Power to Choose Program: https://www.wellesleyma.gov/261/Voluntary-Renewable-Energy, Get a Mass-Save Home Energy Assessment:  https://www.masssave.com/en/saving/energy-assessments/homeowners/, Solar Panels:

Protect our Resources:

Did you know that we have groups in Wellesley that work together to protect our waterways from litter, chemical runoff, etc? Explain what they do, why it’s important, and how residents can help. The Wetlands Protection Committee: http://ma-wellesley.civicplus.com/421/Wetlands-Protection-Committee, Friends of Brookside: http://friendsofbrookside.org/

Sample sustainability submission (credit Stella Glassenberg of Wellesley, MA)

Citations:

http://darksky.org/light-pollution/

https://www.globeatnight.org/light-pollution.php

https://newrepublic.com/article/120624/nasa-photos-show-light-pollution-us-during-christmas-holidays

www.wellesleyma.gov/914/Smart-Outdoor-Lighting

 

Judging Criteria:

Submissions will be scored on a scale from 1-5, based on the following criteria:

  • How well does the project explain the problem and its environmental impact, using data / examples?

  • How well does the project provide a specific solution to the problem, with data or examples on how this organization/behavior/resource makes a positive impact?

  • How compelling, convincing and creative is the project?

  • Are sources cited, does the project meet length requirements, and does it have correct grammar and data?

A winner will be selected by panelists from Wellesley Green Schools from each school level (Elementary (K-5), Middle (6-8) and High (9-12)).

Phyllis Theermann

SO many exciting sustainable-minded things happened last year in the Wellesley Public Schools including:

– Impressive senior projects on food waste, bike tours and green building signage at WHS
– 2 state wide food waste awards
– After school ecological program at Bates
– Middle School students grew and served their green house salads
– Lots of sustainable projects at the STEM EXPO
– 4 Wellesley High School Evolutions projects

In addition, Wellesley’s School Department has added another bus to incentivize more public transport, and reduce traffic.

Plus, Wellesley’s Facilities Management Department has moved to a sustainable cleaning initiative for all of the schools (plus, most municipal buildings). They have installed the Tennant Orbio os 3 Generators which uses water, water softener salt pellets, and electricity to create a multi-purpose cleaner and an EPA rated disinfectant. Many thanks to Michael Santangelo, Wellesley’s Custodial Services Manager, who worked on this and other important projects. We wish him luck on his new endeavors.

We are so proud of the students, teachers, administrators and parents involved in these initiatives and many more across the district.

Those interested in learning more about what is happening at the schools, and those with ideas for 2017/2018 school year, please email susan.morris@verizon.net.

 

Phyllis Theermann

There will be many environmental and sustainability exhibits, and so much more at Wellesley Education Foundation’s STEM Expo on Saturday, April 8th. Bring your family for an incredibly inspiring day when they transform Wellesley High School into an interactive science center. Register today!

stem expoSwing by the Sustainable Wellesley/Wellesley Green School’s table near the auditorium and see some of the incredible Sustainability Challenge finalists.

We encourage you to consider car pooling, walk or biking to the EXPO; and don’t forget to BYO water bottle too.

Sustainability Challenge 2017 header