Promoting Local Climate Action Through Youth Engagement in Schools (2017) Project Report
Students: Tate Burwell, Armando Herrera, Sarah Ohta, Davianna Olert
Our project has been a continuation on work being done by the organization, Menlo Spark. MenloSpark began when a small, diverse group of community members joined together to promote long-term economic vitality, equity, and quality of life in Menlo Park while addressing the urgent threat of climate change. MenloSpark is a nonprofit initiative that collaborates with the city government, businesses, and residents to become a climate-neutral, or zero carbon city by 2025 - therefore, the Green Challenge was created as a pathway to a sustainable lifestyle. Our project focused on the Green Challenge, an online resource that encourages families, individuals, and students to practice a green lifestyle. The Green Challenge awards points to certain climate actions and provides potential actions based on difficulty for users to complete. Users can create teams with each other and compete with other teams as well. In our specific project, we were mostly concerned with youth engagement and how the Green Challenge has been and can be used in schools, middle and high schools in particular. We focused our efforts evaluating how the Green Challenge has gone in schools in the past and how it can be improved. Additionally, our project looked at how these findings can apply to other parts of Menlo Spark, including publicity and engagement of other parts of the Menlo Park community in the Green Challenge and climate action.
Students: Gary Chan, Sarah McCurdy, Marcus Jamison, Mona Thompson Partners: Koshland Fellows of North Fair Oaks, North Fair Oaks Council, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center
The objective of the proposals is to implement an infrastructure that will support youth engagement within the North Fair Oaks community and will be sustainable for many years to come. The team proposed that the Koshland Fellows consider implementing a North Fair Oaks Youth Commission and establish a North Fair Oaks Student-Community Task Force. The team also recommended that the recommending that the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center use the results from our pilot youth engagement workshop to implement a workshop with 2-3 other youth groups to get more feedback on the North Fair Oaks Community Plan. A key component to our design was that we looked at what do we want to know and what do we want the students to gain, and then made engaging and appropriate activities surrounding those two questions.