Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools receives the President’s Award for Sustainability

Our program was recognized for contributions to sustainability through the collaborative partnership between ASU and Arizona K-12 schools on April 18, 2013, during an awards ceremony in Old Main. The ASU Materials Management Recycling Program and the Facilities Management Grounds Services – Grounds for Grounds Program (a coffee composting program) were also recognized for the Sustainability Award at the event. President Crow presented each award with thoughtful messages regarding the importance of the diverse departments and programs represented, focusing often on the importance of teachers as sustainability change agents within our community.

Photo taken by Tim Trumble
Photo taken by Tim Trumble

Check out this link for more information!

BioScience High School’s Community Resource Forum

Bioscience fellow Colin Kunzweiler and outreach fellow Jen Fuller attended BioScience High School’s Community Resource Forum on January 22nd. Past fellows and School of Sustainability students were also in attendance. This event was aimed at helping senior students in pathway perspectives such as epidemiology, forensic science, wildlife ecology and engineering to address the question for their capstone projects, “How will I meaningfully contribute to our complex society?” Students inquired about community members’ areas of expertise with targeted questions in addition to more generalized professional development questions like “describe your career trajectory.” Fellows enjoyed learning about the herpetological society, which several students were engaged with as well as the research being done at the high school level linking diabetes with environmental factors like food access.

Starlight Park Elementary Outreach Partnership

This fall the Sustainable Schools outreach team provided ongoing support to the Starlight Park Elementary Science Club in the form of three engaging presentations/activities about renewable energy given by a total of four fellows over the course of fall semester. During the first visit, fellows helped to make lemon batteries (Link to another GK-12 Lesson on Lemmon Batteries).

The second week focused on a biofuels experiment. Students were excited to watch as their balloons expanded with yeast waste (CO2) while our control stayed the same. The students rightly predicted that the plain cane sugar and the corn syrup would blow up the balloons more than the powdered lemonade mix. Why is that? Because the color and flavor additives meant there were less fermentable sugars to expel CO2.

The last presentation was all about climate change. The students first brainstormed what they thought climate change was and some possible causes. Many students listed cars as a reason for climate change. Teachers outlined the recent Hurricane Sandy as a potential connection to climate change and used this to tie in the social aspects of sustainability – like property damage and health impacts. Fellows explained the difference between weather and climate in addition to why it matters that more carbon dioxide is being released into our atmosphere. Fellows demonstrated the NASA Climate website showing global carbon emissions and temperature over time. They also discussed different ways to display data. Finally, teachers led students and fellows in a physical activity which mimed the movement of glaciers over time.

Fellows Jared and Nelson asking “what are fuels?”

Biofuel fermentation experiment
Biofuel fermentation experiment