Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Education Committee Working Hard!

BGYSC Education Committee volunteers at Harrison Elementary STEM Fair
By: Orsolya R Hegyi
The newly formed Education Committee of the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council decided to start off its volunteering activities at Harrison Elementary’s STEM Fair in partnership with Bluegrass PRIDE.
At around 5:30 pm on March 15th Harrison Elementary School’s gym began to fill with students and their parents eager to learn about interesting science, ranging from the role of microbes in our food to robots and green living. The BGYSC/Bluegrass PRIDE booth quickly started to swarm with curious children. While Mrs. Kara Sayles of Bluegrass PRIDE was teaching children about solar energy with cool demos that included a solar powered toy car and solar cells on top of a doll house running the fans within, Lydia Livas and Orsolya Hegyi of BGYSC were running a Recycling activity. They had two large bins, one labeled ‘Recycling’ and the other labeled ‘Trash.’ There were a lot of common household waste items with them which they gave to children with the objective to decide whether it was recyclable or not. If the kids placed the item in the correct bin they were awarded a small removable tattoo saying “I recycle!” Parents participated as well as children, and Lydia and Orsolya were delighted to find how knowledgeable on green practices most participants were. Many parents left the event with the newfound knowledge that for example cardboard packaging intended to be put in the freezer was in fact not recyclable due cold waxing on the outside. At one point during the event, Lydia even put on a Rosie the recycle bin costume to the delight of many of the smaller children.
The event was a great success and served as an important kickoff for the BGYSC Education Committee’s plans to educate the FCPS children and families about sustainability and green living!

BGYSC Receives Major Honor

The Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council has been selected as the Toyota Environmental Youth Leadership Award recipient for 2012 in the high school division!

Toyota has invited the Council to Toyota on April 24th for a special event commemorating the 5th anniversary of their nature trail and to accept the award.  Additionally as part of the award, the group will receive a transportation grant of $300 for a field trip to Toyota to tour the facility, visit their environmental education center and learn more about Toyota's conservation efforts and environmental initiatives.

We couldn't be more thrilled to be receiving statewide attention for our commitment to sustainability!

March Meeting Minutes!

BGYSC's Spring plans are well underway! Here a little bit of what was discussed at the March full council meeting!
  • Earth Day Event is in progress
- Speaker will now be Bill Clinton
- Venue is now Rupp Arena
- Potential date is Friday, April 20
- Start thinking of flyer designs
- There will be a press release and then things will really get into motion
- We may present a video about the Council
- Council members will take care of ticket distribution at their own schools -more info later
- It will be open to all high school students and families, more info later
  • Food Summit
- March 24th, Crestview Christian Church
- Dylan Sarkisian and Tadhg Young are representing the Council, contact them for more
  • We will be having more frequent meetings in preparation for Earth Day Event. Please attend them if you would like a leadership role!

Students Teaching Students

On January 5, 2012, members of the BGYSC had the opportunity to visit a 4th and 5th grade class at Stonewall Elementary School in a collaborative event about sustainability. High school students, Sarah Caton and Marie Armbruster had the privilege of working with students using foot candle meters and more to teach the students about conservation.
In reflecting on the experience, BGYSC member Marie wrote:

"As Stonewall begins to implement their E=USE2 program, their Gifted and Talented students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th conducted a light level test, plug load study and secret energy audit. That’s where Sarah and I came in. We helped the students conduct these surveys in their school and explain what it all meant. I conducted a plug load study with a group of five students. We went into a kindergarten teacher’s classroom and measured watt usage on the appliances in her classroom. The students were fascinated to realize that all of the appliances had a phantom load. They enjoyed using the equipment and had fun collecting data. We estimated the cost each year to use the appliances in one classroom. The students were amazed at what they found and they were interested in how they could use less electricity and become a more “green” school. I loved working with the students and they all cared about making their school more green."
Pictures of the event soon to come!