San Pedro High School students from the Global Environmental Studies / Earth Alert Academy (SPEA) united their peers and friends to give Mother Earth not just one Earth Day, but two! The Annual SPEA Earth Day Celebration began with a green clean-up event on Saturday, April 20, 2013 thanks to our new partner, All Green Recycling. With the company’s incredible support, more than 25 high student volunteers and teachers organized the 4th Annual SPEA E-Waste Recycling Fundraiser. Not only did SPEA students reduce their carbon footprints in the South Bay, but also raised $533 for academy expenses.
So was Earth Day Part One successful? You tell us…
SPEA diverted over 8,000 lbs. of total electronics from entering landfills and prevented 11,576 lbs. of carbon emissions from polluting the atmosphere. This is equivalent to 446 trees saved, 1,964 gallons of gasoline, 16,777 plastic bottles recycled, and 77,175 aluminum cans recycled.
Part two of the celebration began on Monday, April 22nd and transformed San Pedro High School into an interactive center for green careers. Over 700 students attended on-campus presentations put together by 16 of our industry partners from Bird Rescue, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, DWP, US Coast Guard and the West Basin Container Terminal, just to name a few. The presentations introduced students to local and global careers in environmental management, safety, response and rescue.
“I liked all the presenters and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium presentations the most. I learned that we can all help the Earth by going to beach cleanups and similar activities,” said Giselle, SPEA student.
“I liked the presentations because they helped give us an idea of different career options we can take – that was helpful,” stated Chris, San Pedro High School junior.
Our presenters also enjoyed their classroom time with San Pedro students.
“Talking about the things that they can do – it was a bit of an A-ha moment for the students. They realize that what they do and that one person can make a difference,” said Jeff Greg, Marine Science Technician for the US Coast Guard.
Dr. Kiersten Darrow, Research Curator for the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium used her time with the students to discuss grunion hatching and opportunities within the Marine Aquarium such as internships, volunteer opportunities, beach cleanups, and other community service projects.
“Again, it’s the connection. It’s nice that they see us in their classrooms – they know that we want them in particular,” said Dr. Darrow.
Meanwhile on the other side of campus, Ports America formed student teams in an engaging mock Jeopardy game filled with environmental topics and fun facts.
“It’s important for companies like ours to be here… it gives the students an opportunity to engage and relate with professionals within an industry that’s right down the street from… and it gives them the opportunity to ask us questions and see what we do,” said Christina Boden, Regional Safety Manager for Ports America.
From clean-up to career exploration, SPEA students turned an ordinary Earth Day celebration into a two-day event that will have long-term, positive effects on the planet and the ambitions of our youth.