Students at Royal Bay Secondary School opened the doors wide and welcomed the community to showcase the work they are doing to address the future health of the planet.
Grade 10 students from six classes put together an exposition featuring about 95 projects that dealt with climate justice and solutions on Friday that drew people and politicians from throughout the West Shore.
“As a teacher, seeing the level of creativity is very rewarding,” said Danielle Huculak, one of the teachers involved in the project that’s part of career education and social studies. “They took this project very seriously. Knowing there would be an authentic audience really motivated them and added a level of gravity to the work they’re doing. It reinforces that people from the community want to hear from them.”
“The common message from the students is that when they believe adults are listening, it gives them hope for the future, and their passion and enthusiasm kicks in. We have a pretty daunting task with climate change ahead of us, but moments like this give them optimism.”
Taya Holmes spoke about her project that focused on multi-strata agro forestry, which involves layering crops that are surrounded by trees and shrubs.
“It’s a more diverse way of utilizing space instead of mono culture, or one type of farming.” she explained. “It improves CO2 emissions and recharges groundwater. That’s very important in places that don’t have access to groundwater. It prevents soil erosion as well.”
Holmes said it was great to have the opportunity to share their work directly with the community. “The more people know, the more they will realize how serious the problem of climate change is,” she noted. It reinforces that young people take this seriously. I took part in the walkout for climate change because I’m super-invested in this subject.”
Pavitar Bal and Ali Al Rubaey put a lot of work during the past three weeks into dealing with an innovative approach to eye. The goals are to reduce the amount of glasses produced globally, as well as the cost.
They worked with Google glasses to design something that has as many as eight capabilities.
“We found out that there are four billion pairs of glasses sold globally every year,” Bal said. “We could cut that in half. We scrapped all the electrical parts and cut down on costs and the impact on the environment by using scrap metals and plastics. We made them multi-functional and more in appearance like regular reading glasses that can be customized to your personal liking.”
Both students said they appreciated the chance to engage directly with people about the work they are doing.
Scott Stinson, superintendent for the Sooke School District, agreed.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for the students to showcase their work to the community, and for the community to see what kind of work the students are doing in person.”