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Mackenzie

MS Master of Science candidate

Expertise
Environmental Sciences (agriculture, plant biology, ecology, etc), Arts - dance or creative writing, Business Topics, and Sustainability of environmental, social, and economic topics

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Potential Solutions to Reduce the Environmental Footprint of My High School

Most of what we do as humans causes some effect on the environment. With the way we live now, our greenhouse-gas-emissions, water-use, and waste-creation (just to name a few) put an unhealthy strain on our environment. Fortunately, there are ways to calculate these metrics for a given place or process and later identify hotspot issues. From there, we can come up with action plans and more sustainable solutions. For this project, it is advised that the student start by identifying common streams of inputs and outputs at their school. For example, a student can note inputs like supplies, food, water and even energy sources like the gas for heating or school buses. Outputs like food waste, flushing toilets, and all those old homework papers can be noted, too. The student will attempt to quantify and analyze all these streams… especially focusing on potential hotspots like energy/CO2 emissions. Data may be available (monthly fuel for buses, building heating bills) or some data could be collected by the student (average portion of lunch food thrown away). The student should practice creating data tables and graphs, and most importantly, interpreting these results. Finally, the student should do thorough research to discover and present innovative solutions to reduce the environmental strain of their school. Most likely, there would be a written deliverable for this project; but, it could also be a great opportunity for the student to visually present this project to a principal, teachers, or school board. In summary, the student will gain knowledge about issues and solutions relating to environmental sustainability. In addition, the student will gain tangible skills in calculating environmental metrics, collecting data, and creating descriptive visuals like advanced graphs. The project can be altered to fit a student’s needs and interests.

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