A Look Back – American High School EarthTeam

Earth Team came to visit American High School back in September, and their representative was Devin Cormia. At first, I didn’t really think much of it. Many of us just joined for service hours, and didn’t really care what we did. However, over the course of the 9-10 months of our internship, we grew more active and involved in our efforts to resolve litter on our campus.

Back when we first began, none of us really knew anything, so we just picked up litter. We used instagram to track the kinds of litter spread around our campus so we could possibly narrow down and fix a problem. Many of us participated in the weekend outings, like the Restoration Outing, which I missed. Many of them after were Creek Cleanups, which were also pretty fun. After a couple months of gathering information, our data concluded that bottled water containers and their caps were primary contributors to litter on campus.

This created a spark withinin our group, and we were determined to fix this. We used Google Forms to survey students about litter and water fountain usage, and used that knowledge to our advantage. We found out about an old grant that was lying around, which happened to be for Hydration Stations. It was well received, since it could do a great job in fixing the amount of plastic bottles that are being thrown on the ground. We were determined, and spoke with our very own Principal Musto about the situation. Thankfully, he welcomed them, and after some research, decided they would be installed. So, our mission was a success.

At the very end of the year, Hamza and I went to the LEAF Conference. We set up a workshop informing people about Google Forms. Unfortunately, only around five people came, but it was a very interactive crowd. We ended up talking to them about lots of different things, which made it enjoyable. Our school’s own Eco club was there too! It seems like a fun conference, so I may head over there next year too… Hamza and I ended up leaving right after the workshop, so we weren’t able to see much there though.

Personally, I thought the Earth Team Internship was a great opportunity. Like the rest of the members, I only joined because I heard there were going to be service hours. Over the course of a couple months, I ended up being interested in environmental problems, whether it be just at our school or globally. I thought I was able to contribute a lot to the meetings, especially with the projects we worked on.

Overall, Earth Team was a great experience. It opened up a vast new world to me that I wasn’t aware of before this year. As a team, we did a great job to help our community. The fact that we were able to successfully get hydration stations purchased is a huge success, especially for the future students of this school. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the afterschool activities we did. Thank you to the Earth Team organization for being able to come to our school, and a huge thanks to our coordinator Devin Cormia for guiding us through this wild ride and always being able to keep up with our antics. It was a great year.

-Matthew I.


Matthew and Hamza presenting their work at LEAF 2015


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zerolitteramerican