Thursday, May 13, 2010

Challenge 20/20 2009-2010 Reflection

Here is what happened at Casady School with a small number of Challenge 20/20 participants,

1. We did not have any contact with the Concordia International School Shanghai in China. We tried via e-mail several times with no response. In fact one of the Challenge 20/20 kids even wrote a letter in Chinese. The students from Millbrook School, New York started communication, but besides exchanging global warming videos nothing else happened. The Milbrook students did ask if they could send the awareness materials they were creating to our middle/elementary school students which inspired the Challenge 20/20 Casady kids to start brainstorming working with science teachers and 5th grade classes as well as to explore possibilities with our elementary school teachers. We tried several times to start a SKYPE conversation with the students from Millbrook, but they did not respond. I must also say that the small Challenge 20/20 Casady group also had its focus elsewhere and time just slipped away.

2. On behalf of the Challenge 20/20 team, I applied and we were accepted as the Oklahoma Pilot School by the Oklahoma Green Schools in June. In July, a new Principal arrived to Casady and decided that because we were undergoing a self-study for our ISAS 10 year evaluation, we did not not need to undertake other projects. We had to decline the opportunity to be the pilot school for the Oklahoma Green Schools. The Challenge 20/20 students liked the tenants of the Oklahoma Green Schools and embraced them "unofficially." They connected to the Oklahoma Green Schools resources and brought free recycling containers for plastics and cans. Due to their effort, we now recycle more than paper in the Upper Division. They also visited the elementary school that became the pilot school in Oklahoma City to learn about the "Green Schools Tool Kit."

Casady Challenge 20/20 spent most of the year selling aluminum water bottles and inspiring people to reduce their consumption of plastic water bottles via chapel presentations, using the YouTube video, The Garbage Patch, and connecting to the middle division science teachers and fifth grade classes. After they raised money to buy the tool kit, they promoted using a few tools during MLK Day. Since then, the Challenge 20/20 students have been brainstorming and implementing a partnership with our middle division 5th grade science teachers. On their behalf, I attended two trainings of the Green Schools Pilot Program, one on USE LESS STUFF, and another on preservation of our creeks and lakes by BLUE THUMB. All the information I gathered was provided to the Middle School Science teachers for their consideration.

During the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Challenge 20/20 received a donation of 10 Oklahoma trees from Up with Trees Tulsa through the Oklahoma Department of Forestry. They planted the trees in collaboration with the 5th grade classes. The Challenge 20/20 kids also brought alternative energy cars on campus to raise awareness of electric cars in the high school and 5th grade classes. As a result of the Challenge 20/20 interaction with the 5th grade science classes, a plastic recycling program started in the middle division. In the Lower Division, Oklahoma Green Schools information inspired the resurrection of their community garden. The community garden motivated a high school student, member of National Youth Advisory Board for the Alliance for A Healthier Generation- partnership between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association that works to combat childhood obesity and promote a healthy lifestyle- to work with the after school program at the end of the year and with the high school next year. Challenge 20/20 is now carving end of the year time to SKYPE with Deer Creek Middle School to learn from their experience of using the Green Schools Tool Kit for audits of energy usage, water conservation,waste, recycling, environmental quality, and school climate.

The Challenge 20/20 kids also started to explore how older buildings could be refurbished to meet LEED standards. Our new headmaster is building the first silver LEED certified building on our campus. With Green Schools connections, the Challenge 20/20 brought a LEED architectural firm to answer the question, What is LEED? and promoted and implemented a field trip to their headquarters.

Find documentation of activities at the Challenge 20/20 2009-2010blog and website

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