Innovative Solutions to Environmental Problems

Innovative Solutions to Environmental Problems

Elaine Loft, Staff Writer

Four Derryfield students traveled to UNH on May 10 to compete in the Community Changemaker Challenge (CCC). The CCC is an annual idea-stage competition for high school students from New Hampshire, southern Maine, and northern Massachusetts. Students, working individually or on a team, identify a social, environmental, or economic problem in their community, region, or somewhere else in the world, and use an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to address it.

Science department chair Mary Ann Watt explained, “For my classes I challenged them to propose a local solution connected to climate change. Although all students in my classes participated, I chose two teams to continue on to the UNH competition.”

Aubrey Webb ‘25 and Kazu Loreman ‘24 presented on the topic of “School Pollinator Gardens.” Their paper outlined the problem:

“American lawns occupy 40 million acres of land, 2% of our nation’s surface. They cover more land than any other single irrigated crop grown in America. Lawn’s lack of biodiversity harms the surrounding habitat and makes it harder for animals and insects to find homes and food. One of the many important insects is the bee, a crucial pollinator, without them the ecosystem would collapse and lawns are only making it harder for bees to survive.”

Their proposed solution was to convert some of Derryfield’s lawns into wildflower gardens, which would “not only reduce the negative impacts on the environment, but would also bring positive ones.”

Billy Gardner ‘24 and Elias Kanteres ‘24 proposed an eco-friendly gym, GreenFuse Fitness, that “utilizes state of the art  fitness equipment that generates electricity when used…that energy is then used to power other machines and devices within the facility.” Their presentation include a business logo designed by Kanteres.

At the conclusion of the event, the team of Webb and Loreman (Pollinator Pals) were awarded runner up status. Although Loreman is currently off campus working on their Independent Senior Project, Webb aspires to install the first phase of the wildflower garden before the end of the school year.

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