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Arroyo Seco goes green

Environment: Students hold symposium about saving the Earth

Posted: May 3, 2010 10:24 p.m.
Updated: May 4, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Arroyo Seco Junior High School students Ray Orrick, Colin Maher, Aimey Beer and Brittney Guzman display their presentation about the environment during the school's "Going Green" symposium.

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Planet Earth is our home, and therefore also our responsibility. For as long as I can remember, people have discussed and debated ways to make it a healthier, cleaner and greener place for us all. To help spread the message throughout the community, Arroyo Seco's eighth -grade Team Viper organized a "Going Green" symposium.

Before the event could take place, we were all given a research project in our English class. The class met in the library on the first day and we all picked a topic from a hat. The eight available topics were environment, transportation, landfills, food, water, energy, recycling and global warming.

Each category determined the groups we would be working with. My topic was landfill.

Our next task was to actually research our topic. We spent multiple days in the library studying books about landfills and energy. There were also many educational websites available to us on the days we worked in the computer lab. All the information we collected was jotted down on note cards, and the resource information onto source cards. These note and source cards became a large portion of the project grade.

Our final step was to create a community outreach visual. Each person had to take the information he or she gathered and put it into a brochure, flyer, pamphlet or PowerPoint that would be presented at the symposium. Even though we worked in groups and shared a topic, each individual's research and visual had to be original and unique. Sharing information was not allowed. With all the research and writing behind us, the real fun was yet to begin.

Now that we had all the information, we needed to prepare the event in which to showcase it all. In our groups of four, we were to create a booth to represent our topic.

Some groups chose to decorate tri-fold display boards to show interesting facts. They presented their information through graphs, charts, bullet points and photographs. One of the core components of the booth was to display a five-step plan to promote a greener lifestyle at school and throughout the community.

My group chose to incorporate recycling, community service and composting into our plan. Some groups offered hands-on activities for visiting guests, such as recycled car races, organic food taste tests, quizzes and games. Groups offered small prizes like stickers, pins and snacks to motivate visitors.

Our guest list included members from City Hall, the Castaic Lake Water Agency, Parks and Recreation, parents, and of course, our science classes. Students used their public speaking skills to share information and enlighten guests about going green.

The event was a huge success. From our professional attire to our engaging booths, the symposium gave students a chance to advocate greener living. I learned how landfills are decreasing in number and increasing in size. I also learned simple ways to conserve water.

All students who participated in this massive project worked hard to promote saving our planet Earth. It taught us that everyone needs to do his or her part.

Aimey Beer is an eighth-grader at Arroyo Seco Junior High School.

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