Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Casady Challenge 20/20 purpose

Hello, we are Casady's Challenge 20/20 group, we have been discussing and promoting the Challenges in High Noon, and we have come an an conclusion of selling reusable aluminum water bottles to reduce the average number of plastic bottles in our recycling bins from 200 each week to 100 or less by the end of the year. We were wondering if we could use NAIS' Logo on our school bottles to promote NAIS and Challenge 20/20. We were also wondering if we could receive a small stipend from NAIS on each bottle, to help fund the bottles distributed throughout our high-school and possible all the lower-divisions.

The profits from water bottle sales will be used to purchase a toolkit which includes instruments to measure the amount of electricity used when an item that is not in use is left plugged in, the quality of the air in any given location, etc. This toolkit will allow Challenge 20/20 to pinpoint the places where very simple changes can greatly affect the overall quality of Casady's campus in terms of the environment, which can cut energy costs and enhance the learning of students.

Josh OU

Teacher Tube

New technology at teachers' finger tips: http://www.teachertube.com/

Be a Vegetarian for a Week-Reduce your Carbon Foot Print

Today, we would like to share with you some information which may help us think more about being KIND to ourselves, our planet, and other living things.

When we mention Buddhism, most of us will think about compassion and enlightenment. How do we apply them to our daily living?

With widespread energy crisis, global warming, pollution, and water and food shortage, what can we do to help? Use less energy, drive less, conserve water?

Did you know we can make a bigger difference if we changed the way we ATE?

We cam make a A BIG difference by avoiding eating meat for just ONE day a week. Join so many others who have already pledged to take this little step towards making a big difference in OUR world.

"Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." -- Albert Einstein

When we understand the truth, we can choose the appropriate actions. Be kind to our planet, to ourselves, and to the animals.


Buddha Mind Monastery
5916 S Anderson Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73150

Friday, November 20, 2009

Casady Challenge 20/20 takes action

"If you're interested in buying one of Challenge 20/20's BPA-free water bottles there are order forms on all the lockers. If you buy a water bottle you'll not only be helping the environment by reducing the amount of plastic in the recycling bins, you'll be saving yourself because these bottles are BPA-free. BPA is a carcinogen (which means it can cause cancer) and it can leech into your water if the bottle isn't BPA-free. The bottles are $12 each, or $13 if you don't want the Casady crest. Please return the order forms to a Challenge 20/20 member, Mrs. Clay, or the main office."

As you may have heard, the Challenge 20/20 student group is going to sell Bisphenol A (BPA)-free reusable aluminum water bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced by Casady students.
1) Our goal is to have full participation in every grade.
2) The water bottles will be personally engraved with whatever WORDS or name the student wishes to engrave (15 characters max)
3) There will be a $12 charge to the bookbill for each bottle purchased.
4) When a student uses one of the bottles, they are reducing the amount of plastic waste that they normally produce. It is also healthier/safer to use these BPA-free water bottles because they do not leech carcinogens into the contained liquids like other bottles do.
5) The profits from water bottle sales will be used to purchase a toolkit which includes instruments to measure the amount of electricity used when an item that is not in use is left plugged in, the quality of the air in any given location, etc. This toolkit will allow Challenge 20/20 to pinpoint the places where very simple changes can greatly affect the overall quality of Casady's campus in terms of the environment, which can cut energy costs and enhance the learning of students.

A picture of what the bottles will look like is on the flyers that you'll find on your lockers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Schools Go Green

Educators Grow Green Schools by Vivian Loftness
Credit: Allison Kendall
Green schools are emerging around the country, and they are nothing short of spectacular. Whether built from the ground up or retrofitted, they are awash in daylight and the glow of natural wood, equipped with individualized air, light, and temperature control, and surrounded by rich landscapes designed to shade and regenerate our air and water.
Green schools cost less than 2 percent more than conventional schools to build but provide 20 times the financial benefits, according to author Greg Kats [1]. Even in existing schools that are making smaller changes to lighten their impact on the planet, the benefits are obvious: savings in energy, water, materials, land, and transportation. In a 2006 study of 30 American schools, Kats identified an average 33 percent reduction in energy use and a 32 percent reduction in water use in green schools (as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council [2]) when compared with conventional schools.
Less well known are the seemingly invisible assets of environmentally healthy buildings. A school designed to have a smaller carbon footprint can also have a big impact on the learning and health of its students, improving test scores, reducing absenteeism, advancing new levels of learning, and reducing asthma and allergies. Good ventilation, daylight, cleanliness, reduced noise -- all attributes of green design -- are not merely aesthetic improvements; they can actually promote better educational outcomes.

Proving the Power of Green
Recently, as a member of a National Academy of Sciences committee, I reviewed a large pool of research related to standards developed by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools [3] and the USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design [4] (LEED) certification system.
Quantifying the health and learning benefits of green schools is not easy, becuase there are so few studies available. But our report, "Review and Assessment of the Health and Productivity Benefits of Green Schools [5]," concluded that a number of green-school attributes are vital to health and learning.

To begin with, green schools take the challenge of keeping water out -- a necessity for health -- to a sophisticated level. Green, dry schools are designed to capture rain for landscape irrigation and use recycled water in the building. Second, green schools are designed to be well insulated, without "thermal bridges," or cold surfaces, that might result in condensation and water damage.

Managing excessive moisture in the form of leaks, visible dampness, or visible mold has been associated with reduced asthma and respiratory disease in schoolchildren.

In a 2002 study of 32 schools in Finland, researchers identified an average 15 percent reduction in the prevalence of the common cold during springtime in school buildings that had no moisture or mold problems as compared with moisture or mold-damaged schools.

Green schools are designed to have excellent indoor air quality. Reducing indoor pollutant sources, providing adequate quantities of outside air, and ensuring maintenance of the filters and ventilation system have been linked to reducing absenteeism and improving teacher productivity and student learning. In a 2006 study of 54 elementary schools, researchers identified a 14.4 percent improvement in standardized math test scores in classrooms with a ventilation rate that was double the norm.

Local thermal comfort also has a measured impact on student achievement. Better windows as well as walls and floors that do not get too cold or too hot are elements of green-school design, as are up-to-date controls with careful commissioning of mechanical systems.

The next generation of green schools must go even further. They should provide each teacher with local temperature controls independent of fresh-air delivery, along with the ability to open high and low windows to provide a quick refresh of room air without drafts. Future buildings also must manage solar overheating with awnings and shades that do not eliminate light or view.

Most green school buildings are designed or retrofitted to be quiet, managing traffic noise, room reverberation, and noise transmission between rooms. Managing noise in classrooms has been shown to improve student learning and the development of language skills, as well as protecting teachers' vocal cords.

In a 2002 study of 10 preschools, researchers in Stockholm found an 11 percent reduction in vocal strain among teachers in quiet classrooms (with background noise levels of about 55 decibels) as compared with those in noisy classrooms (at a surprisingly common 75 decibels).

Green schools -- both new and renovated -- also are designed to be easy to clean, a necessity for good indoor air quality. Keeping desk and contact surfaces disinfected to help prevent the transmission of infectious diseases and implementing pest-control measures to help control indoor pollutants -- all green-school attributes -- have been associated with reduced levels of respiratory disease.

Finally, when building systems are commissioned to meet the intent of green design, and routine preventive maintenance continues throughout a building's life cycle, the likelihood that the building will remain dry, comfortable, quiet, and clean grows, as do the satisfaction and performance of teachers, students, and administrators.
A Bright Green Future

Some of my favorite attributes of green schools -- daylight, links to outdoor classrooms, and school buildings that serve as labs -- deserve further study to demonstrate their importance to health and learning across the nation.

Green schools almost always are designed around daylight in every space and around views of nature. As long as windows are controlled to eliminate glare and summer overheating, they provide benefits for students and teachers alike: higher light levels without energy costs, excellent illumination of educational materials, and views of nature and the passage of time. Visual access to the outdoors, from morning to night and season to season, is important to our circadian rhythms and our sleep cycles.

One of the most famous school-building studies, completed by the Heschong Mahone Group, identifies test scores 7-26 percent higher for schoolchildren in classrooms with plentiful natural light than for those in classrooms with little or no daylight. Windows also can support natural ventilation, especially with high and desk-height windows that provide free cooling through most of the academic year and let outside air flow into stuffy classrooms as needed.

Ideally, green classrooms are linked to outdoor learning and recreation spaces. The importance of physical activity and of outdoor learning through three-dimensional playgrounds, edible gardens, and nature walks has been highlighted by organizations like the Children & Nature Network [6] and in books such as Richard Louv [7]'s Last Child in the Woods.

In a 2008 field study of 17 children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, researchers identified a 17 percent improvement in concentration performance at memory tasks after a 20-minute guided walk in a natural park as compared with a walk in a downtown setting or a residential setting.

Although not a standard characteristic yet, green schools should be within walking distance of students and teachers. Green schools in neighborhoods designed for walking, or at least in transit-oriented communities where some walking can be assumed, provide recreational and meeting spaces that support the community, improve neighborhood safety and vitality, and ensure the immeasurable benefits of physical exercise.

A San Diego study identified 60 percent obesity rates in low-density, "nonwalkable" neighborhoods as compared with 35 percent in "walkable" neighborhoods.

Finally, green schools should be rich with environmental materials and learning -- a living laboratory for children. Our role in climate change is the topic of the century, with environmental curriculum emerging at every level of schooling.

At the same time, educational researchers emphasize the value of hands-on and tactile learning and of experimentation to engage and capture the interests of students. The opportunities to understand the flow of heat, light, air, sound, and energy in buildings and to teach the science, the math, the history, and the art of innovation for our shared future is most powerfully delivered when the school is a living laboratory.

Our commitment to the environmental quality of our school buildings, in both new and renovated schools, must go hand in hand with our commitment to environmental education and to education that is effective in a highly competitive global economy.
The environmental benefits of green schools are becoming clear; the health and performance benefits now need the spotlight. Going a step further and designing our schools to be environmental learning labs will help create a new generation of green consumers, inventors, installers, and educators. It is a brilliant cycle of win-win both for the Earth and for our children.

Vivian Loftness is a professor of architecture at Carnegie Mellon University and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Source URL: http://www.edutopia.org/green-schools-student-health-performance
[1] http://www.cap-e.com/mission/default.cfm#greg
[2] http://www.usgbc.org
[3] http://www.chps.net/resources
[4] http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19
[5] http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11574
[6] http://www.childrenandnature.org
[7] http://richardlouv.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Communication with Matthew from NY

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Possible Conference Presentation

How about presenting Challenge 20/20 2009-2010 at the Social Studies Conference? Why present? If proposal approved, even if no one attends our presentation, we get $300. We will allocate those $300 to purchase the Green School Tool Kit for Challenge 20/20 for energy audits in 2010 and for the science teachers to have as a resource, to start a fund buy recyclable water bottles and big event recyclable bins.

Presenting is a way of reflecting, evaluating, and setting goals and a path for the future. It is a win/win opportunity and we have time to prepare because the presentation is on February 6, but the deadline for the presentation proposal is Nov. 20. We have presented the Challenge 20/20 project : Hunger Challenge in the past. We used the money for Walk the World expenses.

Brainstorming the Presentation

1. Brainstorming Titles ..
The Question: Climate Change. The Solution: Schools Living Green
Green Schools: Global Challenges, Local Solutions
Green Schools: Intergenerational Entrepreneurial
Green Schools: Change Becomes Peace

2. Brainstorming Possible Abstract:
If there are six billion+ paths to peace/change, what is ours? We will show how children, youth and adults are embracing a "greener school climate." See approaches to water usage awareness, energy conservation, reduction of ecological and carbon footprint. You might find your path to green school change. "Green" door prizes.

Thank you Josh and Rebecca for writing the grant that gave us the Facing the Future curriculum on climate change and digital cameras...

Possible presentation collaborators:

a. Dave Wilton from Facing the Future: Door Prizes for educators: He sent the following e-mail: Thank you for including Facing the Future in your proposal brainstorming. If it's mainly edcuators that you think would be coming to your workshop, I would be happy to send along copies of our book "Engaging Students through Global Issues" on CD to give to attendees. All I ask in return is that you share some basic information about Facing the Future. Ideally, if you have time, I would encourage you to consider finding an example of an engaging lesson activity (doesn't have to be and FTF lesson) to people can experience what it would be like to carry the ideas from your presentation back to their school/community and have a way to engage their students/neighbors with issues you've presented. Happy to be of further assistance if you would like. I hope your trip to Keystone was illuminating. Best wishes! Dave
Dave Wilton
811 First Ave., Suite 454 | Seattle, WA 98104 | www.facingthefuture.org
T 206-264-1503 F 206-264-1506 E dave@facingthefuture.org

b. I have also beautiful ornaments made out of recycled paper that we can paint and give as door prizes- Mrs. Czerwinski could take a couple of minutes to explain how she does this project with her pre-school class. They are beautiful. Have not had a reply from Mrs. CZ yet

3. Brainstorming process of presentation: CHANGE becomes peace

Explain Challenge 20/20 via video.(3 minutes). Explain the green schools pilot program and Facing the Future.org CONNECTIONS. Explain how our connection to Susie Shields from the DEQ and Putnam City North students CAST empowered us to expand our environmental school outreach from paper recycling to plastic and cans. Explain what part of the green school pilot program we will be implementing with the $300 stipend...Explain the Energy Audit tool kit. UD Science teachers could explain how they have used the two instruments we have obtained from Mrs. Shields so far. Explain our connection to Facing the Future: Wrote grant, received free curriculum, and digital cameras. Connection of digital cameras to Challenge 20/20 hunger initiative through Ollantaytambo project. Miss Bornhoft could have a part in the presentation. We might also ask her to bring her Vegi Club perspective too. I am sending copy of this e-mail to her too. Explain our administrative leadership: path to paperless school, LEED Building, etc. Maybe we could take a couple minutes video of Mr. Bright explaining our LEED building.

Explain how Challenge 20/20 plans to expand "reduction of carbon and ecological footprint as well as water and energy conservation...I have great Facing the Future handouts on water...Byron could explain Mr. Bottomly's class project on Water for All.. Josh and Rebecca, you could explain how your experience has changed from freshman to junior year through CONNECTIONS. I will ask Susie Shields to consider having a minute or two on ecological footprint. I have been fascinated by the High School Living Green Presentation. Susie Shields knows the source of that PP. I think it might have been from Edmond North. Mrs. Zesiger and Mr. Reynolds took the environmental freshman group that year to the site visit. Maybe environmental club and Mrs. Zesiger could have a part in the presentation too. We can have an 8th grader from Mr. Sappington last year class explain their energy consumption awareness Earth Day project if Mr. Sappington is not available. Mr. Sappington said he could be interested in presenting his project with us.

4. CHANGE BECOMES PEACE (Change a path to peace): SARAH might explain how educating to be green is a path to peace and a way to embrace diversit. Explain how being green expands our understanding of diversity...We might consider having birds and pinwheels decorating the room. We might consider sending an e-mail to Haru to see if he would consider sending path to peace, be the cards and T-shirts for participants.

I will ask Keystone Adventure School and farm http://www.keystoneadventureschool.com/index.htm to consider sharing their vegetable garden and composting project as well as their rain forest project.

Project Budburst: Could this be a possibility?

Project BudBurst : Fall has arrived - celebrate the change of seasons with Project BudBurst! Get outside with your students and have them make observations of seeds ripening, leaf color change, leaf drop, and other interesting changes. It's easy to participate and provides a great learning opportunity at any time of the year. The Project BudBurst team has a goal of reaching 5,000 phenophase observations this Fall and needs your help! http://www.windows.ucar.edu/citizen_science/budburst

November 2009 Investigational Site Visit

Pictures by Deric

Casady Challenge 20/20 Executive Board Josh, Sarah and Deric were joined by Katie and Ritt Mrs. Zesiger, Mrs. Linn and Mr. Reynolds in their investigational site visit to Keystone Elementary School and Farm, an award winning "green school" and "pilot of the pilot Oklahoma Green School Program." The school was founded by former Heritage Hall Elementary School teachers. It is in its 5th year of operations and as John Duhon, the director of projects stated, "every year we are blessed with the opportunity to open our doors to an amazing group of kids>" (55 children attend the school)
Keystone Adventure School and Farm: http://keystoneadventureschool.com/ Keystone Adventure School and Farm is located on the N.W. corner of Danforth(192nd) and Western in Edmond, OK. You can call us at (405)216-5400 19201 N. Western, Edmond, OK 73012

After the visit the brainstorming began

Sarah: I'm not entirely sure how feasible this would be but if some of the tools in the greenschool toolkit could be given to the lower schoolers to let them see how much energy is wasted...kinda do the same thing that Keystone does in letting the kids discover the problems and come up with their own solutions. but of course getting their solutions implemented at Casady would be a lot more difficult than at Keystone. either way it would allow them to learn about the environment.
also if we used the heat laser/kill-a-watt we could gather stats about our school and obviously work to reduce energy waste ourselves but also we could present our results in chapel and challenge the students and faculty to reduce the waste.
that's all i have off the top of my head.

Josh: I had a lot of fun and interesting thoughts towards the site visit to Keystone School. I would like to get a laser temperature reader and
use it in a few rooms around the school. I was also wondering how long the presentation has to be for the $300 grant.

Deric: We are looking forward to his thoughts

Katie: We are looking forward to her thoughts

Ritt: We are looking forward to his thoughts. Thank you for sharing "r.c. treats."

Mrs. Clay: Their recycling program is the same as ours: Paper, plastic and cans. They have the same system and process. Mrs. Clay has questions about how they handle heath hazards, liability issues, insurance concerns. Mrs. Clay has requested to job shadow a Keystone teacher for a day to understand a little bit better how the school operates. Mrs. Clay's main goal was to see the environmental strategies the school is applying and to hear how the children and faculty are using the "Green School Tool Kit" and get advise from the Casady Sciene teachers regarding the tool kit. During the brainstorming time, Mrs. Clay ask students if they wanted to present this project at the Social Studies Conference to acquire the funding for the tool kit and/or for alumminum reusable water bottles. Students responded yes. We will need to apply for the presentation this week. Mrs. Clay requested help for the presentation from Mrs. Zesiger, Mr. Sappington and Miss Bornhoft (Environmental Club activities, energy audit in MD, and Vegetarian Club as well as Carbon Footprint awareness in Spanish Classes)

Mr. Reynolds: We look forward to his comments regarding Keystone. During the bus brainstorming of what Challenge 20/20's focus for the year should be, he brought to the table the idea of "wind power and windmills."

Mrs. Linn: We look forward to her comments regarding Keystone. Mrs. Linn said that the two tools we already own are the most useful for a collaboration between Challenge 20/20 and the science regular curriculum.

Mrs. Zesiger: We look forward to her comments regarding Keystone. In the area of global awareness, Keystone has a Kids Cafes that is raising money and improving the drinkable water of children in remote areas of the world. Mrs. Zesiger's daugther Katie is fundraising next week for the victims of the flood in Manila and Challenge 20/20 and YAC students will help with the effort, but possibilities for future collaborations between MD and UD are only just beginning.

Katie: How about investigating the lake?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

New Climate Change Curriculum

“In 2009, Will Steger Foundation created a new curriculum for high school students that focuses on global climate solutions, called Citizen Climate. This curriculum emphasizes civic engagement and helps teachers and students understand the critical and complex climate solutions being discussed on the national and international stage. It also allows students to formulate statements about what they would like to see happen in climate policy and how these policies and actions can be replicated in their states and local communities. These lesson plans build on the Will Steger Foundation’s original six lesson plans on the basics of global warming. The new lessons cover the carbon cycle, target levels for atmospheric levels of greenhouse gasses, cap and trade, carbon tax, new technologies, concerns of developed and developing countries, and how to formulate position statements.”