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New Green Team Wins Competition

First in the City for Energy Challenge

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New Green Team Wins Competition

Mr. Sarker jots down student ideas during a Green Team meeting.

Mr. Sarker jots down student ideas during a Green Team meeting.

Jemma Lasswell

Mr. Sarker jots down student ideas during a Green Team meeting.

Jemma Lasswell

Jemma Lasswell

Mr. Sarker jots down student ideas during a Green Team meeting.

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The Bronx Science Green Team has already started making waves, despite being just a few months old.

In a recent Energy Challenge competition held by the Department of Education’s Office of Sustainability, the Green Team achieved first place for its efforts in making Bronx Science a more sustainable school. Along with recognition for their work comes a $10,000 prize and an energy upgrade from the DOE that will make energy usage throughout the school more efficient. Now the team must decide where to allocate their prize money to make the biggest difference in school, whether it be for new trash bins or water bottle stations.

Their remarkable accomplishment have not gone unnoticed in the school community, but not everyone has a comprehensive idea of what exactly this group’s work entails. Some students might be surprised by how involved the faculty is. The group was founded by Ms. Wax, Mr. Sarker, and Mr. Wren, but these have reached out to staff across the school to contribute to their efforts.

For example, the Green Team worked with the IT Department to implement “Power Off Fridays,” when all electronic devices were turned off for the weekend, and they continue to collaborate with the custodial staff to address recycling and other schoolwide sustainability issues. “They’re the ones who know the building the best,” said Mr. Sarker.

This impressively collaborative spirit is particularly notable between the students and teachers during their weekly meetings. Throughout the discussion, the facilitating teachers always confer with the students to hear their thoughts. “It seems that whenever we have an idea, they are always vital to helping that idea become a reality,” said Emily Chan ’20. Each member is empowered to share what they think and lead projects in the fields they’re passionate about.

A big focus is on outreach. Team members are encouraged to inform their friends about the new filtered water bottle stations, or look out for misuse of recycling bins. They make an effort to inspire students to think critically about their environmental impact outside of meetings, and to lead discussions with peers. “By taking the initiative in bringing sustainable change to school, I think everyone has the ability to make a difference in bettering the environment around them,” said Kin Yang ’20.

“It seems that whenever we have an idea, they are always vital to helping that idea become a reality,” said Emily Chan ’20

Green Team certainly has a creative approach in how they spread the word. In an effort to reach students and staff, they launched a multimedia campaign, taken their message to Wolverine TV, and have even worked on energy-efficient lighting for the school play.

Of course, the recent Energy Challenge triumph is a proud moment for all those involved with the new organization. “As a teacher, a lot of our work leads to intangible results because there are so many things involved in a student’s life,” Mr. Sarker said. “Getting this direct feedback confirmed for me that what we’re doing here is important, and all I wanted to do after that was share that message with the people that contributed – what you did mattered, it was appreciated, and it can lead to change.”

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