by Phyllis Theermann April 23, 2019 ant Compost environment essays food waste hydroponics lawns oceans plastic students Sustainability Challenge videos
This year’s STEM EXPO Sustainability Challenge was to promoting a local resource, policy or behavior change that makes Wellesley greener. These came in in a variety of formats such as advertisements, essays, videos, artwork and more. Students from elementary through high school thought hard and convinced their audiences that everything from food waste and removing chemicals from their lawns, to composting and hydroponics were ideal ways to help our environment!
Congratulations to the 2019 Sustainability Challenge winners!
Elementary School Winners:
-Elan Usmani: “Making Wellesley Lawns Greener” video
-Nalini Fiorillo: “How Green Is Your Community?” infographic on school commuting
-Abby Brown and Kayla Bohlin: “Plastic in the Oceans” website and video
Middle School Winner:
-Kellen Sharpe: “Composting” video
High School Winner:
-Owen Mix: “Hydroponic Greenhouse” PowerPoint presentation
Many thanks to all our participants in the 2019 STEM Expo Sustainability Challenge:
Nalini Fiorillo, Chase Gemski, TJ Reohr, Elan Usmani, Emelle Bedair and Layla Bedair, Will Hubbard and Henry Haddon, Nina Wied and Ellery Gerhart, Thomas Zhou, Jacob Gottschaulk and Cooper Gooch, Abby Brown, Kayla Bohlin, Emily Burnham and Audrey Song, Solène Zelenko, Claire Roney, Kathryn Bonnette, Caroline Stewart, Lila Welburn, Aiyden Pires, Hope Schofield, Chace Beauvais, Emma Brostrom, Lilah Wallace, Sean Sullivan, Kenny Song, Olivia Kashian, Costi Papavassiliou, Charlote Haig, Alexander Bertucci, Christian Pooley, Christine McMahon, Nick Lafave, Carter Rich, Ieva MacInnes, Liam Berger, Ryan O’Shea, Daniel Goldberg, Sabrina Gabriel, Leila Eccher, Cameron Poirier, Jayden Song, Graci Doherty, Ben Ackerman, Estelle Maroon, Jacob Recht, Max Wied, Allie Chung, Jake Broggi, Mike Lafave, Blyn Kull-Must, Hally Brown, Lizzy Hudson, Nina Waller, Riley Marth, Lauren Young, Zachary Nolan, Evelyn Harrison, Kaitlyn Willett and Hannah Cronin, Leah Wechsler, Eliza Towle, Kellen Sharpe, Blake and Robert Foster, Alivia Jiang, Owen Mix and Ian Lei.
by Kelly Caiazzo January 31, 2019 carbon gas leaks k-12 students shopper's corner STEM EXPO Sustainability Challenge transportation Waste Reduction water WEF
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!
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
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!
The EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator:
The EPA’s Household Carbon Footprint Calculator:
The Water Footprint Calculator:
The Footprint Network:
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.
Here are some ideas to get you started!
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)
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/?
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/
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?