In March, Clark County Green Schools and EarthGen hosted the Elementary Student Summit at Clark College. The theme of the event was green team action and sharing. A total of 70 students from seven elementary schools attended the event – representing the many efforts to improve sustainability in schools across Clark County.
The morning half of the summit included activities for students and teachers, such as labs for water quality, air quality, and worm bin exploration.
The water quality lab was led by EarthGen's School Specialist Laura Tyler with support from a community water quality advocate, Selina Zou. The water quality lab involved testing water samples for their pH, nitrate and phosphate levels, and turbidity.
The air quality measurements lab was led by EarthGen's Program Coordinator Cameron Steinbeck with support from Waste Connections Educator, Crystal Moore. This session led students to designated spots on campus to observe the air quality differences between objects like trees or the campus furnace building.
The worm bin exploration lesson was taught by Green School's Sami Springs with support from WA Service Corps member, Saré Campbell. Students conducted soil sample comparisons and learned about different processes of waste management.
The activity sessions left the students feeling inspired, energized, and engaged.
Midday, lunch was provided by Foode where students enjoyed sandwiches, fruit, veggies, and salad. The teachers sat in a private lunch circle where they could network, engage, and build helpful connections. Organizations in attendance wereClark Public Utilities, Lower Columbia Nature Network, Clean Water, 4-H, SNAP-Ed, and Waste Connections.
The final program of the summit was a group-sharing opportunity. This session began by hearing from a member of our community, Selina Zou. Selina is a local high school student with a passion for water quality testing and environmental engineering – like finding biodegradable plastic alternatives. Her childhood in Singapore has been a huge influence on her passion for beautiful naturescapes and community pollution awareness. She led a great talk that left teachers and students excited about being a leader and inspired by what a community can do together.
Before ending the day, each team worked together to create a motto and a logo for their work over the last year. This was their time to promote their green team's teamwork and dedication to school sustainability. Each green team took turns sharing their stories. Some teams shared videos, others had posters and photos. The projects ranged from no-idle zones and building bat houses, to donating Halloween candy! It was a lot of fun for students to speak about all the work they do to help their communities be safer and healthier.
Green teams left the summit with ideas in their minds and stories to share. Plus, teachers left with community resource connections and support.
Thank you, teachers and green teams, for taking the time to attend the 2023 Elementary Student Summit. All EarthGen, Clark County Green Schools, and our partners enjoyed meeting and learning with you.
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