CT-B Green School Challenge-CG

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CT-B Green School Challenge-CG

  1. 1. Green Schools Challenge 2013-2014 Cibolo Green Elementary School San Antonio, Texas
  2. 2. About Our School Cibolo Green Elementary, located in the Northeast Independent School District (NEISD), opened in August, 2010, and is one of the first 'green' schools in San Antonio and the first 'green' campus for the NEISD. The 122,634 sq. ft. campus, which includes all the necessities of a standard elementary school, such as 45 classrooms with workrooms and book storage, a computer lab, pull-out classrooms, library and media center, two gyms and more, was built with a focus on energy and water conservation, utilization of recycled and nontoxic construction materials, indoor environmental quality, site sustainability, design innovation, and use of the building as an instructional tool for students and the community. The school was certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program achieving Gold level certification in February, 2011. The LEED® Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. One building design strategy incorporated is that each grade level wing covers an environmental design feature. Kindergarten is home to Site Sustainability, first grade is Indoor Environmental Quality, second grade is Materials and Resources, third grade is Water Efficiency, fourth grade is Energy and Atmosphere, and fifth grade is Design and Innovation. Each grade level is distinguished by the education material presented, unique color schemes and particular construction design elements. For example, in the kindergarten wing, a section of wall is left unfinished—covered with glass—so students can view the insulation and pipes used. Teachers also incorporate environmental curriculum, such as Project Wild, into their instruction. Each class has two representatives on the Green Team. In addition to participating in the Green Schools Challenge this year, the campus has an after-school club called the Green Club, which meets once a month. The Green Club helps to promote a community and school-wide awareness of Earth friendly lifelong choices, as well as participating in green activities including Earth Day. Also, 3rd - 5th club members can be selected for Green Patrols, who remind parents in the after-school car lines to not idle before students are released to help reduce emissions and improve air quality. District-wide, NEISD launched an asthma management program to improve students’ asthma control and attendance in order to positively contribute to the district’s academic performance. The program, which includes a component to address environmental asthma triggers in schools, received an EPA National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management in 2013. 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX
  3. 3. Cibolo Green Earth Friendly Promise We, champions of Cibolo Green, promise to be “Earth Friendly,” to make a difference in our world, and to commit to “acts of green” regularly. Because of this, we are truly, not only champions of Cibolo Green, but champions of the EARTH! 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX
  4. 4. Reviewing Survey Results Reviewing our climate change survey results with our mentor, Sharon Curry. 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX
  5. 5. About Air Quality 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX Invisible particles + Irritants + Infections = Inflammation process Clean air, which is composed of nitrogen, oxygen, and other gases, is healthy for us to breathe. However, air -- both indoor air and outdoor air -- can become polluted; that is, contaminated with particles and gases that ar4e not part of its natural composition, making the air dirty and unhealthy. The indoor or “built” environment is as complex as the outdoor environment and since we spend 90% of our day indoors, the quality of the air indoors becomes crucial to our health and productivity. The air in enclosed spaces, such as schools, can also be polluted, from pollutants that have seeped in from the outdoors and pollutants emitted from indoor sources. In fact, some kinds of air pollution can be worse indoors than outdoors, such as tobacco smoke, mold, and chemicals released from fabrics, furnishings and chemicals. Ground-level ozone, or smog, and airborne particles are the two pollutants that pose the greatest threat to human health in this country. "Particulate matter," also known as particle pollution or PM, is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. Particle pollution is made up of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. The EPA is concerned about particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller because those are the particles that generally pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects. For people with asthma and other lung disease, both ozone and particle pollution can make symptoms like coughing and wheezing worse. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. Air pollution doesn’t have to make you sick –- you can do something about it. You can take action to reduce your pollution exposure by referring to the AQI and adjusting outdoor activities to reduce the amount of pollution you breathe in. The EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. For each of these pollutants, the EPA has established national air quality standards to protect public health. Each of these standards represents the maximum allowable number of particles in a unit of air. The typical unit is either cubic feet or cubic meters.
  6. 6. Our Project 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX We have been mindful of air quality issues since our school opened. Everyone at our school knows they are part of a community of learners, helping each other to be the best we can be. We keep our school and grounds clean, take responsibility for washing our hands and practicing good hygiene (like coughing or sneezing into our elbows!), promote walking and riding our bikes to school, ask our parents not to idle in the car lanes, practice reduce/reuse/recycle in our classrooms, and monitor air quality days. Because many of our friends cannot go outside during air quality alert days, we wondered what the air quality was like inside our school. We wanted our investigation to be something that could be shared and understood by all or us, from kindergarten through 5th grade. After looking at several types of investigations for air quality, we decided on using collection plates, which we called Particle Collectors. They would be easy for us to make, and by posting them throughout the school, they would be visible for all the students to see. We hoped our investigation would help educate everyone about air quality and re- enforce awareness about the strategies used in and around our school to improve air quality.
  7. 7. The Particle Collectors 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX Our Green Challenge team came together on a Saturday to make the particle collectors. We wanted them to be simple. They also needed to be made of materials anyone could have access to. (That way other students in our school could make at home if they wanted to do some of their own investigations.) To make the collectors we used poster board, white contact paper, glue, and duck tape. We posted 21 particle collectors around the school and grounds. Other classes were inspired to make their own particle collectors for their classrooms. Locations included: • Upstairs car lanes • Downstairs car lane • Playground • Upstairs hallway • Downstairs hallway • Clinic • Music room • Gym • Storage closet • Teacher lounge • Teacher workroom • Cafeteria • Library • Classrooms • Office
  8. 8. Making Particle Collectors
  9. 9. Sharing about our Project We posted our Particle Collection Poster next to our Particle Collectors around the school. We left the collection plates up for 14 days, taking photos of them on the first and last days.
  10. 10. Taking Measurements Since our collectors would only show us large particles, we asked our Indoor Air Quality Coordinator to take readings from several of our collection sites using a Particle Counter, so we could get readings on micro-particles… the kind you cannot see. 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX Larry Fowler takes measurements of particles in our school
  11. 11. Modeling a Cubic Foot Jerry Lamping, one of our mentors, talked to us about particle sizes and how they are measured. We wanted to build a model so we would better understand a cubic foot and our results. 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX
  12. 12. Our Findings 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX Our smallest particle measured by the Particle Counter was a submicron size of 0.3 (per cubic foot). Our outside air quality, including the outside car emissions, was the worst for small particles. It now made more sense why students who have respiratory problems have to stay inside on Air Quality Alert days. It also made sense why we ask our parents to turn off their cars while they are waiting in the car pick-up line for their children. 0 500000 1000000 1500000 2000000 2500000 3000000 3500000 Car Lane Emissions Outside Clinic Office Teacher Lounge Cafeteria Music Room Gym Storage Library 0.3 micron particles per cubic foot
  13. 13. Our Findings 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX Our mid-sized particle size 2.0 was micron size (per cubic foot). We notice our gym storage area and the music room had high levels of these larger particles. It made sense for the storage area to have larger particles, as the gym equipment is stored in there and it is taken out/put away on a daily basis, collecting a lot of particles from the gym floor. We were surprised that the music room would have such high amounts, but it also has a lot of equipment. Another surprise was the low amounts for the cafeteria and the library. We realize that our custodians and our librarian do a great job keeping our environment clean and healthy for us! 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 Car Lane Emissions Outside Clinic Office Teacher Lounge Cafeteria Music Room Gym Storage Library 2.0 micron particles per cubic foot
  14. 14. Our Findings 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX Our largest micron particle size of 5.0 (per cubic foot) was greatest in the gym storage area, music room, and the office area. The office area was surprising to us, because it always looks so neat and clean. What we noticed, though, was that it is the only carpeted area of our school. It also has a lot of people going through it each day, as you must enter our school through the office. We thought that might result in lots of particles coming in on shoes. 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 Car Lane Emissions Outside Clinic Office Teacher Lounge Cafeteria Music Room Gym Storage Library 5.0 micron particles per cubic foot
  15. 15. Sharing Results We created three bulleting boards to share our project and results with our school community. We will keep updating the board with more information about our air quality and ways to improve it. Since creating the display, we have received many comments, questions, and complements from students, parents, and visitors. We love being part of a community of learners! 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX
  16. 16. Sharing Results Some students decided to continue investigating air quality on their own. In this video, one of our 5th graders talks about her project.
  17. 17. Why Air Quality Matters 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX We can all help to make our city and our school a healthier place! San Antonio on a clear day San Antonio on an Air Alert day
  18. 18. Green Schools Challenge Participants We wish to extend our thanks to the following persons… • Larry Fowler, Indoor Air Quality Coordinator, North East Independent School District, for assisting us with our project by taking measurements • Our Principal, Adam Schwab, and Assistant Principal, Lisa Jimenez, for their support • Our Green Schools Challenge Club Sponsor, Nelle Knirsch, Cibolo Green Elementary • Our Green Schools Challenge Mentors, Jerry Lamping and Sharon Curry • Our school nurse, Bernadette McDermott, Cibolo Green Elementary, who keeps us informed about air quality days and helps keep us healthy • Our custodians who do so much to keep our environment clean and healthy • Jeanette Conway, Green Club Sponsor, and the Green Club faculty, who provided their time and talents with Green Club activities and helped make learning so much fun! • The Central Texas Balcones Chapter of the U.S.G.B.C. who sponsored the Green Schools Challenge 2013- 2014 Green Schools Challenge Cibolo Green Elementary School  San Antonio TX Green Schools Challenge Club Members: Shriya Kira Jackson Cameron Kaitlyn Rhea Caitlyn Cerys Viviana Hailey Yvette Alyssa Ian Sara Kaitlyn Anna Livia Lauren Mariana Sierra Hannah Frida Sofia Screenevash Javon Rose Payton Ryan

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