2010-2011 Champions of the Environment
North Central High School, Kershaw
Long Live the Knights! Lessons in Sustainability
North Central High School has the goal of teaching students how they can create a more sustainable environment for themselves and their families. Their project is designed to showcase how sustainability can be a reality. Students will build a small photovoltaic solar system to augment the energy usage of the existing greenhouse. Rainwater will be collected and used to irrigate the green house and an abandoned area of the school grounds will be revegetated and identified as a carbon sink. Students will also reduce cafeteria waste by composting food scraps and yard waste from the school grounds.
The Lessons in Sustainability lab will also be utilized by the local middle school. Students plan to utilize the greenhouse and garden area to sell organically grown produce and plants to the public establishing a dialog with the community on the benefits of sustainable living.
Sandhills School, Columbia
Sustainability and Horticulture Project
Students at Sandhills School are examining how horticulture relates to sustainability issues on an individual and global level. Students will focus on the efficient use of energy with food being seen as the most essential form of chemical energy that we need. Students will learn how to grow a home or commercial garden during all four seasons of the year using passive solar energy. Lessons will be learned through hands on gardening, construction, marketing and cooking. A portion of the school grounds will be restored to native forest, reducing the need for mowing. Students will work collectively for the first growing season, then will given their own plot to grow and manage for the second growing season.
Through their Sustainability and Horticulture Project, these students are gaining a better understanding of the organic gardening practices and earning the immediate benefits of fresh organically grown produce.
Spartanburg Charter School, Spartanburg
The Green Scene
A second grade class at the Spartanburg Charter School is creating a bird habitat on their school grounds. The project will reduce the lawn area that is mowed, reducing air pollution form the gas-powered mower. With the help of teach and parent volunteers, students will build bird houses, plant native plants and monitor the habitat as the plants mature and create shelter for the birds. The habitat will be maintained by students and will be used for hands-on lessons for future students.
The Green Scene will instill in students the importance of preserving natural resources while they learn about native plants and wild birds that visit the habitat area.
Sumter County Career Center, Sumter
Green Technology Project
Students at the Sumter County Career Center will utilize their skills in carpentry, masonry, welding and mechatronics to construct a greenhouse on school grounds. Students will learn the importance of water efficiency as they harvest rainwater and install a recycling system for greenhouse irrigation. Flowers and plants grown in the greenhouse will be used to landscape school grounds. Horticulture and culinary students will utilize the products they produce.
As these students work to integrate Green Technology into multiple areas of the Career Center, they will gain hands on experience and will carry the lessons they learn about efficiency and reuse with hem as they enter their careers.
East North Street Academy of Math and Science, Greenville
School Wide Recycling
Elementary students at the East North Street Academy of Math and Science are learning about waste reduction and recycling. Cafeteria waste will be sorted and recycled, and food scraps will be composted. Students will track the amount of waste reduced and will teach other ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Students will work with the janitorial staff at the school to document the reduction in the daily lunch waste achieved from their School Wide Recycling project. They will share what they learn through their school newsletter and implement waste reduction in their homes.
James M. Brown Elementary, Walhalla
Growing GEMS! Gardening and Educating to Master Sustainability
Students at James M. Brown Elementary are learning the importance of sustainability by hands on participation in a school garden. Food scraps from the cafeteria will be composted to be used in the garden. Other cafeteria waste will be reduced thru recycling. Students working on the project will partner with the schools health initiative, Zest Quest, and will tie the importance of organic gardening and vegetable consumption to health improvement.
The primary goal of the project is to educate James M Brown students about the importance of sustainability. Lessons relevant to sustainability and the school garden will be implemented for all grade levels.
Rock Hill High, Rock Hill
Woodland and Wetland Conservation Study Area
Students at Rock Hill High are establishing a wetland conservation James area on their school grounds. An area of the property will be allowed to revert back to woodlands, reducing the need for mowing. Erosion within the study area will be reduced. Students will install a fence to separate the area and will install a footbridge to make the wetland area more accessable.
By participating in the Woodland and Wetland Conservation Study Area students will learn the importance of wetlands. The plant diversity of the area will be studied and recorded by current and future students.
St. Helena Elementary School, St. Helena Island
Marshview Community Organic Farm Eco Trail
Fifth grade students at St. Helena Elementary School are learning about wetland habitats and organic farming methods. Students will participate in hands-on activities at an organic farm then plant mini-gardens in their backyards using seeds taken from the organic farm. They will learn about healthy eating habits by helping cook the vegetables they grew in their garden.
By making multiple visits to the Marshview Community Organic Farm and Salt Marsh Eco Trail students will increase their environmental awareness. The students will apply their new skills to develop a school garden, which other grades will benefit from as well.