The Green Team went to an assembly regarding wind power and solar energy before vacation. Former Manchester Essex graduate Andrew Brousseau and wind turbine expert Bill Vachon present individually on alternative energy sources and persuade the team to continue working towards a better world for upcoming generations.
The CEO of the Ocean Alliance, Dr. Iain Kerr came to speak to the students about the Ocean Alliance. Kerr is known to develop innovative research techniques that can engage scientists and conservationists, a graduate of the University of London, and has lead international teams on research and conservation efforts all around the world. Kerr was also one of five international winners of the Chevron Conservation Award in 2006 for his contributions to marine mammal and ocean life.
When the new middle/high school building was constructed,
the Edible Schoolyard was built out in front of the dining hall in 2009. The
Edible Schoolyard serves as a vegetable patch for the cafeteria kitchen to use
as well as a community garden. The school’s Green Team works hard to maintain
the garden year round as do some of the students, faculty and staff, and
members of the community.
Embarking on its second Sustainability Day on Wednesday, March 13, the Green Scholars program traveled into Boston via train to spend the day at the Museum of Science.
The trip aimed to increase environmental literacy by viewing several exhibits regarding energy efficient technologies and climate change. Additionally, they attended special movie showings in the Mugar Omni Theatre and Planetarium.
“The trip complemented and reinforced our Green Scholars program while also providing an ideal way to encourage students to have fun while learning,” Green Team director Eric Magers said.
To begin the day, the Scholars visited the “Catching the Wind” exhibit, where they learned about the technology of wind turbines and heard stories about local wind turbine projects throughout Massachusetts.
Next, the students attended a presentation on current energy issues and what pathways humans can take to provide solutions. According to junior Anna Heffernan, the presenter explained how nano-technology can be used to make current energy technologies, such as solar panels, even more efficient.
“It was reassuring to find out that scientists are working on things like photo-voltaic paint, which could be used in households across the world,” Heffernan stated.
According to multiple Green Scholars, the favorite event of the day was a special movie viewing of “The Last Reef” in the Mugar Omni Theatre, which has a screen wider than one’s peripheral vision can span.
“It was unlike any other movie I’ve seen before,” junior Jake Tyler said. “The theatre made it easy for the movie to get its point across: our connection with ocean’s complex, parallel worlds.”
“I felt like I was right there swimming with the jellyfish,” Heffernan said. “It was an amazing experience.”
To cap off the day, the Green Scholars went to a few more environmental exhibits, learning about climate change and the natural habitats scattered throughout New England.
“Once again, I had a lot of fun on this Sustainability Day,” Tyler said. “I can’t wait for the next one!”
The school has been designated a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School for reducing environmental impact and cost; improving Health; and offering Environmental Education. Information about the award can be found below the gallery.
SECOND ANNUAL U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION GREEN RIBBON SCHOOLS ANNOUNCED; FIRST-EVER DISTRICT AWARDEES NAMED
Award Honors Schools and Districts for Reducing Environmental Impact and Costs; Improving Health; and Offering Environmental Education
April 22, 2013
Chair of White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley and Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Bob Persiacepe joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today to announce the second annual U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees.
Sixty-four schools were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways. In addition, 14 districts were honored for the first-ever District Sustainability Award. Duncan, Persiacepe, and Sutley made the announcement at Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School, in Washington, DC, one of the 2013 honored schools.
The schools were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 32 state education agencies. The list of selectees includes 54 public schools and 10 private schools. The public schools include seven charter, five magnet and four career and technical schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 40 elementary, 23 middle and 19 high schools are among them, with several schools having various K-12 configurations, from 29 states and the District of Columbia. Over half of the 2013 honorees serve a student body more than 40 percent of which is eligible for free and reduced price lunch. The list of all selected schools and districts, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 78 honorees can be found here.
“Today’s honorees are modeling a comprehensive approach to being green,” said Secretary Duncan. “They are demonstrating ways schools can simultaneously cut costs; improve health, performance and equity; and provide an education geared toward the jobs of the future. In fact, the selected districts are saving millions of dollars as a result of their greening efforts. And the great thing is that the resources these honorees are using are available for free to all schools.”
“Preparing students for success in the 21st century economy begins in our schools. The schools and districts being honored today are modeling the best practices in reducing environmental impact and cutting costs, creating a healthier learning environment, and providing students with an education geared toward the jobs of the future,” said Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley.
“EPA is proud to join the Department of Education in recognizing our nation’s U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools for their remarkable efforts to create healthier learning spaces and educate students on the importance of environmental protection,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are not only cutting costs thanks to energy-saving practices and use of more efficient technology, but they’re also reducing instances of pollution-related illnesses like asthma, a leading cause of student absence. The students who attend these schools are better prepared than ever to become the next generation of environmental stewards and bring about a healthier, more sustainable future.”
The Department is looking forward to a third year of award, and will be publishing updated competition criteria this summer, once again working closely with participating states, collaborating organizations and partner agencies. State education agencies are encouraged to indicate intent to nominate schools in 2014 by August 1, 2013.
More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars in which the 2013 honorees are exemplary can be found here.
• Harriette W. Gwin Elementary School
• Munford Middle School and Munford High School
• Fayetteville High School
• Talladega County
• Fayetteville District
• Charles Evans Hughes Middle School
Long Beach, CA
• Journey School
Aliso Viejo, CA
• Redding School of the Arts II
• Prospect Sierra School
El Cerrito, CA
• Oak Park Unified School District
• Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School
Ft. Collins, CO
• Douglas County School District
• Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School
New Haven, CT
• Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker
• Common Ground High School
New Haven, CT
• St. Andrew’s School
District of Columbia
• Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School
• Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School
• Woodrow Wilson High School
• Driftwood Middle School
• St. Paul Lutheran School
• School District of Palm Beach County
• Ford Elementary School,
• Gwinnett County Public Schools
• Guion Creek Middle School
• Starmont Community School
• Des Moines Independent Community School District
• Bluejacket-Flint Elementary School
• Cane Run Elementary School
• Northern Elementary School
• Locust Trace AgriScience Farm
• Cedar Grove Elementary School
• Summit Hall Elementary School
• Montgomery County Public Schools
• Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School
• Quincy High School
• Berkshire School
• Acton Public Schools and Acton-Boxborough Regional School District
Along with many other hands on assignments, students in biology teacher Maria Burgess’ class made litter for the class bunny, Blue. They used recycled materials to do so, which relates to the mission of the Manchester Essex Green Team. The biology class plans to eventually sell the litter and try to make money to maintain the plant hospital.
Biology teacher Maria Burgess and some members of Manchester Essex Green team help the plants around the school stay alive. When a hallway or classroom plant starts to look unhealthy, it is brought into Burgess’ “plant hospital” to recover from its illness. Plants are “diagnosed” by biology students and then treated until healthy.
Caroline Hunt-Epp’s eighth grade art class goes through a step-by-step process to create observational drawings and paintings of plants from around the school. The plants have been in the school for around a year and are cared for by members of the green team as well as biology teacher Maria Burgess. Last year, the Green Team Scholars decided that we needed to “spice-up” the school as it was so sterile and bland looking. So they wrote letters to the Cricket, Beacon and Gloucester Times with a request for donations and it was a great response.
After a long application process, the school has been nominated as the one public school from Massachusetts to be sent to the Federal Department of Education to be reviewed for the Green Ribbon Schools award.
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award honors schools that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs, improving the health and wellness of students and staff, and providing effective environmental and sustainability education, according to Green Team Director Eric Magers.
Before reaching this point, two Green Scholars, along with the aid of several teachers, compiled a 23-page application for the award portraying why the school deserves the recognition.
According to junior Brittany Smith, the application process consisted of answering questions regarding the school’s green aspects and Green Team program.
“I’m so happy we got selected for the federal level selection,” Smith said. “It made the 12-week application process worth it.”
The Green Team has been able to achieve numerous successes by giving students real world experiences in the Scholars program. Receiving this award increases the district-wide recognition of the program, according to Magers.
Additionally, agencies such as Green Schools, Alliance for Climate Education, Green Education Foundation, Mass DEP and Mass Recycle have informally recognized the school as the greenest in the state.
“There is no formal recognition, but if there were one, we would have it,” Magers said.
The award poses many indirect benefits for the program as well.
“Perhaps the greatest benefit from this award will be that we may be able to increase the amount of grant money we receive in the future as foundations will recognize our school’s commitment to sustainability,” said Green Team president, senior Kevin Cellucci.
“It is incredible to finally be recognized for all of our hard work and it really makes me feel as though I am making a difference in my community,” Cellucci said. “Hopefully after I leave Manchester next year, our school will continue to lead the country in environmental stewardship.”