Our Oceans are Rising, and so are the Youth

Check out CNN’s article by Harmeet Kaur and Madison Park on the climate strikes taking part across the globe, here.

The surprisingly controversial climate strikes have grabbed global attention after Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old activist began skipping school every Friday and sitting outside of the Swedish parliament to protest the lack of action from politicians and global industries to reduce their impacts on our ecosystems.

Since then, her protests have inspired thousands of young people around the world, with climate strikes held in over 120 countries and 2000 cities, including Vancouver.

Her actions have not only brought out young people from across the world, with a spokesperson for UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, recently came out saying that striking “increases teachers’ workloads” and “wastes lesson time.” Many more adults are also against the students’ actions, claiming that students are simply finding new excuses to skip school.

This article addressed the social transformation of how we perceive ecological issues, and the changing social values of today’s young people. The author uses very informative and descriptive writing that’s rich in vocabulary, explaining and breaking down the more complex terms and reports. Whenever the authors refer to a report, they break it down into simpler terms to help the average reader understand the context and varying perspectives on the climate strikes.

As one of the largest environmental protests in history take part on March 15, 2019, the world will see and hear the voices of a generation rising up whether they stand by them or not.

The Tide is turning, and it’s changing the way you’ll receive your detergent.

Check out CBC’s story on big retailers testing reusable packaging to replace throwaway plastic in Canada.

Recently, retail giants Unilever, Nestle and Procter and Gamble have announced pilot programs with emerging company TerraCycle to replace disposable packaging with their new system aimed at cleaning and reusing premium product packaging.

CBC’s article immediately grabbed my attention after seeing that corporations are finally adapting to the urgent need to reduce their excessive disposable packaging. Although concerns still remain for the online pilot program taking place in Toronto, the initial action seems to finally show that corporations are addressing the urgent issue.

Arguments still exist on the sustainability of the practice, including the fossil fuels required to manufacture and transport these new containers.

Currently, according to Ocean Wise only 5% of global plastics are being recycled – pinpointing an urgent need for alternatives in the retail industry.

The author, Ross Marowits from the Canadian Press uses insightful writing to connect modern day issues with solutions from the past. “The system is akin to the old milkman delivery service that was ubiquitous in the 1950s and 1960s.” states Marowits, comparing TerraCycle’s new program with ideas that have previously existed. Marowits goes on to expand the perspective on what other companies are similarly doing to address our climate issue, including airlines and fast-food chains’ commitments.

Retail giants’ new commitments with TerraCycle’s program will be a new face for an old system put on a larger scale. Following other giants in the food and retail industry, companies have put forward new plans to reduce their disposable waste footprint in our environment. This is following new voices and concerns from consumers for more sustainable choices in their marketplace – including youth from across the globe on Climate Strikes standing in solidarity with Greta Thunberg.

Tech Team

Wall Of Pride

Briefly describe your new and improved idea, by incorporating ideas and / or feedback.

New and improved ideas for the Wall of Pride include making this feature of our school accessible. Not only recognizing the feats of previous Rapids, but making the past of Riverside a part of the present. Inclusion of an archive / log of profiles of the alumni for anyone to access, at any time in addition to the physical engaging display we will already have in the school.

To incorporate this project into Riverside’s school culture, we will integrate it into programs and information feeds we already use. This includes an EduBlog website similar to The Eddy, promotion on the Riverside’s social media presence such as Instagram and Twitter, and to promote the success stories of the many students that walked through the same doors we all currently are walking through.

What Problems Might We Run Into?

Some problems we might run into include finding a home for a screen around the school that’s in a high-traffic area, funding for the wall, and finding personal success stories.

There will also be a problem creating a proper criteria for the nomination process as we will need to find a way to balance academic, athletic and personal achievements that should be celebrated.

School engagement will also be a challenge. This project can turn out as one of the most significant additions to Riverside, or it can turnout to be a low-engagement project sitting aside from all of Riverside’s activities. We need to find ways to keep this project interesting and exciting, and create a brand off of this new part of our school.

What skills do we need to complete this project? How can we attain these skills?

We need to understand Riverside’s history and its’ students from the past and the present. Riverside has had many significant transformations since its’ recent opening in the 1990’s. From a new school to one of the British Columbia’s leading schools in digital innovation and inquiry, many steps had been taken in order for our school to be where we are. A diverse range of champion students have also walked through our doors, including artists, athletes, scientists and entrepreneurs. We will need to completely understand their growth stories and promote Riverside’s role in their success to motivate other students currently attending Riverside.

Create a brief timeline of key things that need to happen to ensure successful completion of your project. What happens next?

First off developing a connection with the team is the first step. You need an engaged team to develop an engaged project. When we begin to create a criteria, we will also need to consider what makes a “successful” Rapid, as well as what will a “successful” Rapid look like in 10 years. Time will transform how we perceive success and we need to make sure we accommodate for that change. The costs and budget will also need to be concretely defined so we can secure the financial funds for this project, and create an agreement with the school. Once and if the project comes to life, we will need to create engagement for this project. It will need to fit into Riverside’s culture, as well as continue to be engaging after launch – which means constantly updating it, creating time-exclusive content and exclusive content that would only exist through Riverside’s Wall of Pride or archive EduBlog.

We will also need to make sure that this project has a growth opportunity so that in the future, key data will be kept and new teams can continue to bring this project even further. This can include an archive for future use – keeping our data for years ahead, and to refine a development long-term goal for future teams.

 

Passion In Action

Since Science 10 when I began my inquiry into single use plastics’ and their effects on our environment, there couldn’t have possibly been more that I could have learned.

This project linked my interests of media arts and the outdoors to something bigger. I first developed an informative website to try and send the message that plastics aren’t the best choice we have, aimed at Riverside students.

Since then, I joined the MVST circle in August and I have been a part of the inquiry group Healthy Oceans, researching intriguing topics covering disruption, pollution, self consciousness, societal habits and environmental impacts of plastic usage and it’s role in our local communities.

After attending several Leadership Clinics hosted my Metro Vancouver, (the host of this course), we were then assigned to design our own day. This began as an imaginary day, something that would never exist outside of our computers – until we got notice that funding had come in for our clinic proposals to come to life. Since then, our group of other youth from across Metro Vancouver, David, Josephine, Joy and Gerric, have all worked together to design our proposal to the best it could be.

Our final product was one that represented our interests, questions, passions and knowledge through a leadership clinic.

Tech Team Edublog

What Widgets and Plugins did you Choose?

I liked the add-on of a few widgets on my EduBlog, but ultimately decided to remove a few as I felt they didn’t provide a presence that I liked.

These widgets included the Recent Posts, 3D Rotating Tag Cloud and Google Webfonts.

The plugins I chose included AddThis, Social Share, and Embed any Document.

What are their strengths?

The Recent Posts plugin allows visitors to easily navigate my new content, helping teachers get to where they need to get, quicker. The 3D Rotating Cloud gave my blog a more interactive and engaging experience. The key words displayed some of the courses I used EduBlogs for a lot, and gave insight on some of the topics that interests me, and from all of them, the Embed any Document plugin is the one I find that brings a lot to my EduBlog. It improves accessibility to my blog posts, and provides a more aesthetic design, a lot better than the confusing and unorganized links.

What are their weaknesses?

For the recent posts, it gave insight on what I’m currently studying / interested in at school, versus seeing irrelevant content from 2 years ago, the Calendar just seemed to be a use-less add-on to my blog as there really isn’t a need to search by date, nor can I see the benefit of having such widget in an educational setting. The 3D rotating cloud I chose to keep, not for any educational purposes, but rather to personalize my blog further. Google WebFonts seemed to be excessive for my blog style, and was removed for the reason that perhaps my coding isn’t quite there yet, but more so because I saw no benefit of such plugin for my blog.

Can these plugins / widgets be used in a classroom setting to enhance student learning? Would you use / recommend it?

Most of these widgets / plugins can be used very frequently. Some aid in giving the blog a more personalized feel, and others help ease navigation through the blog. I think the document embedding widget will be by far the most used on my blog, as it’s simple, it simplifies navigation, and provides the blog a better looking design than links all over the page. Many plugins have been removed or will be rarely used for now.

Exploring Ecological Sustainability

After a week filled with knowledge and place-based education at Metro Vancouver’s Sustainability Toolbox 2018, the exploration of sustainability in our communities and the connection between money, people and nature have been brought up in engaging conversations regarding our current challenge against tackling ecologically damaging habits.

Our inquiry focus group discussing our ocean health initiative with our teacher-mentor Wendi.

Through collaboration between youth across Metro Vancouver and dedicated teachers from various School Districts, the success and failure stories of schools’ ecological initiatives have been shared, as well as common problems in our larger communities.

I’ve been able to put forward my perspective and curiosity on plastic disruption, to our larger topic of ocean health – along side interests of others in our inquiry focus group bringing up intriguing knowledge on our various ecosystems.

Metro Vancouver’s Head Office