MHS Green Team helps Northside students

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Eighteen members of the MHS Green Team visited Northside to lead four environmental stations for eight classes on Friday, Dec. 20.

Green Team is an MHS student organization that works to make the District more sustainable through education and systematic changes.

The event was split into two halves. From 8 to 9 a.m., two second- and two third-grade classes rotated among four stations. Between 9 and 10 a.m. the four fourth-grade classes came and rotated among the four stations.

There are three committees in the Green Team club: Sustain MHS Committee, Waste Management and Reduction  Committee, and Garden Committee. Each committee held at least one station.

Sustain MHS led a station centering around climate change. Elementary students were provided with a definition for climate change and what it entails for the planet, animals, and the human species. The younger students read from a script about deforestation, and afterwards Green Team members asked them open-ended questions, such as “How does climate change affect us?” Green Team members added to the answers, encouraging students to think more deeply about how it has and could affect their lives.

Waste Management and Reduction Committee led two stations. One was a relay race in which a class was divided in half to sort a pile of items, wuch as a fake banana, that could be composted, recycled (examples include a cereal box, plastic bottle) and thrown away, such as a fake hamburger. Whichever half of the class had the most items in their correct boxes won small prizes. The other station was a garbage band, in which students could repurpose discarded items (bottles, tin cans, juice cartons and more) to create instruments, and could perform in front of their class at the end. 

The Garden Committee station had students take their clean and empty milk cartons to plant wildflower seeds. With the help of Green Team members, students planted seeds within a bed of dirt, carefully watering their milk carton gardens with the same instructions for the coming months.

"The members of Green Team were blown away by the amount of knowledge on climate change such young students held,'' MHS sophomore Daphne Wu said. "Many of the students currently in high school can’t remember ever talking about climate change in elementary school, so this shows how far our District has come in instilling environmental lessons at a young age. Green Team hopes that teachers will continue to put an increasing amount of sustainability education into their curriculum, no matter what grade.''

Wu, leader of Green Team, coordinated the event along with Northside teachers. Wu was appreciative of all the Northside teachers who played a role. Leah Williams, an environmental sciences teacher at MHS and one of three Green Team advisers, also attended.

Wu said the Green Team plans to visit at least four more MCPASD elementary schools in the spring. Please visit the MHS Green Team page on the MHS website to learn more.