School Impact Projects at P.S. 34 Brooklyn
By 5th Grade Students: Imogen Sheenan, Ixchel Held-Villasenor and Madison Davis-Brown with the support of NWF Greenpoint Eco-Schools, Sustainability Coach: Tina Wong
The 4th and 5th Graders at P.S. 34 are working on School Impact Projects in our Green STEM Class with Ms. Marshall. A School Impact Project is when we examine the school and see if we can change things to make it better, greener, or healthier.
To help us with the project, Ms. Marshall gave us different topics to choose from. These topics are from Eco-Schools’ Pathways to Sustainability. The Pathways we got to choose from are: School Grounds, Healthy Schools (Indoor Air Quality), Waste, Water, and Energy. Each student got to choose their topic but Ms. Marshall made the final decision of what we got. Ixchel and Imogen both are studying School Grounds and Madison chose Indoor Air Quality. Then we got in groups of students that chose the same topic and we began our research.
We used our new laptops in the Green STEM room to do research and learn about these Pathways. “I had difficulties sometimes working in my group, but we are making a lot of progress and learning how to communicate better with each other.” Madison.
Ms. Marshall handed out audits for each group based on each topic. These audits are like inspection forms and it tells us how each room is doing. They give you information about your topic and let us know what to look for in each space. For instance, in School Grounds, we checked for how many plants were in each classroom, which by the way – many had ZERO! For Healthy Schools, we looked to see if there were any toxic cleaning chemicals, like Lysol… which I didn’t even know were bad for us.
After the Pathway groups went around the whole school and filled out the audits, we reviewed the results with our team. We then came up with action plans, things we want to do to make it better. “Right now, my group is making a PowerPoint about changing the air quality in room by adding plants that clean the air.’ Imogen.
What’s really cool about this project is that we get to come up with ideas and actually get to make it happen. For instance, in one of the Kindergarten classroom, there are no plants and my team is going to help by fundraise to help buy plants for them.
In conclusion, the School Impact Project is important because it has many ways to make our school to make it better, greener, and healthier! We will be finishing our project this month and will be presenting our findings and sharing our solutions to the entire school. “I’m enjoying this project because we have voices to change things in PS34 to make it better.” Ixchel.