Oakland Tech EarthTeam

This is our very first post. In the 2016-2017 school year, Oakland Tech student interns will participate in an after school service-learning project to reduce contamination in the waste streams in their school & communities. This blog will serve as a platform for interns to share their work.

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Oakland Tech Earth Team Wraps up the Year! Over 150 hours completed!

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The year has come to an end! This year Oakland Tech Earth Team met 48 times, completing over 150 hours of education and training, including 31 class visits, 8 field visits, and 8 public events! Together, we reached over 750 community members and over 9,000 peers and faculty on campus!

The highlights of our project were..

3-Bin System Teacher Campaign – Interns spoke directly with every single Teacher on campus, spreading the word about the 3-Bin system and getting direct feedback from participants

3-Bin System Education Campaign – Interns created curriculum and even made a sorting video that they shared with over 80+ classes!

Contamination Reduction -The first audit before the 3-Bin system showed that Tech 91% of the trash that was being thrown into the landfill could have been recycled or compost. The final audit of the year showed only a 6% contamination rate in the recycling stream!

Supporting other Schools Projects – Throughout the year, Tech interns supported multiple events including the YES Conference, Litter March, Community Tree Planting, Dog Waste Clean Up Day, MLK Community Clean Up, Rumrill Earth Day event and more!

Replication Package – Interns created a short video and material package that can be shared to other schools to get a 3-Bin system started on campus!

“Earth team has allowed me to become a stronger team player and a leader. This team has put me in an environment where I worked with other intelligent individuals to create plans together. I could build off other people’s’ ideas or create my own and have my fellow interns make it stronger. It has been a collaborative group effort, this whole year. When I go to college, I am going to take my strengthened ability to collaborate and my newfound leadership skills. Earth team has made me love environmentalism more than I already had.“ – Sophia

“Though I’ve only been in Earth Team for my final year of high school, it was very meaningful and I felt it was also a positive impact on not only myself but on the Oakland Tech community as well. I’ll definitely take this engagement to and interest in environmental science and activeness into college with me because they’re topics that are often overlooked yet affect everyone.” – Raymond

“Spending time with interns from other programs was a good reminder that there are people my age who care about the same things as me. Being around so many other young people who cared about the environment truly was an inspiring experience. It was easy to tell that everyone who was there was there because they had a passion and an interest in what they were doing.” Lucy

Great job Oakland Tech interns!

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Putting Actions into Words: Tech Intern’s Update their Resumes and Apply for Positions!

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To finish off the year Oakland Tech interns worked on Resume Building. Interns were given a list of future internship and job opportunities, in addition to time to search for a job or position that was not related to environmental work. Interns completed an activity that allowed the group to reflect on their role in this program and how they can speak on the skills they have learned and or developed throughout the school year.

Interns made edits to their resume and discussed how their involvement in different things can be leveraged as work experience. Each student was given a sheet of BUZZ words that employers look for most. Interns also discussed emails, and the importance of organizing your emails at a young age.

Overall, it was a great day planning for the future! The team expressed appreciation and excitement for getting the chance to work on the resumes in such a collaborative, supportive environment.

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LEAF Slide Ranch Camping Trip: An Intern’s Personal Reflection

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Student Blog 

My favorite part of the trip was seeing how much work other interns had put in and seeing how far we had all come as a group. Even though each school had different goals and missions, I could tell we had all worked just as hard at achieving these. Spending time with interns from other programs was a good reminder that there are people my age who care about the same things as me. Being around so many other young people who cared about the environment truly was an inspiring experience. It was easy to tell that everyone who was there was there because they had a passion and an interest in what they were doing.

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Over the course of the trip, I learned that it’s possible to live sustainably off the land – even in 2018. The individuals who worked at Slide Ranch proved to me that it’s possible to lead a very fulfilling life while also living in a way that is sustainable. Sustainable agriculture seems like a way to exist that does the least harm to the world around us.

I think these trips contribute to the Earth Team program by showing us what it’s like to be in nature. Even though it sounds simple, a lot of us live in the city and rarely are able to be in nature for more than a couple hours at a time. For me personally, these trips are an opportunity to de stress and detox from my otherwise hectic high school life. I really appreciate moments like that, where I can be in nature around people who care about nature.

Written By: Lucy, OT Intern 

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A Graduating Senior’s Reflection on their Earth Team Experience

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Student Blog 

I am so happy that I decided to join Earth team. My enjoyment has stemmed from the people I have had the pleasure of working with and the tremendous work we have done this year alone. Even though it has been such a short amount of time, I have grown so much as a person. Earth team has allowed me to become a stronger team player and a leader. This team has put me in an environment where I worked with other intelligent individuals to create plans together. I could build off other people’s’ ideas or create my own and have my fellow interns make it stronger. It has been a collaborative group effort, this whole year. When I go to college, I am going to take my strengthened ability to collaborate and my newfound leadership skills. Earth team has also made me love environmentalism more than I already had. When I leave the team, I will miss the people the most. I know that is sorta cliche but it is true. All the Earth team interns are so fun to be around and so smart. I have loved working with them and Jenna this whole year. Earth team has definitely been a highlight of my year.  Going forward, even if there are new people, I hope to see Earth team continue to do incredible work for my community and communities in the Bay Area.

Written By: Sophia, OT Intern

Great work Sophia! Wishing you the best of luck in college!!

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A Graduating Senior’s Reflection on their Earth Team Experience

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Student Blog 

In this school year, I was glad I joined Earth Team because of the activities, people, and positive vibes. Though I’ve only been in Earth Team for my final year of high school, it was very meaningful and I felt it was also a positive impact on not only myself but on the Oakland Tech community as well. I’ll definitely take this engagement to and interest in environmental science and activeness into college with me because they’re topics that are often overlooked yet affect everyone. I will continue volunteering in college, whether in the form of joining service clubs, volunteering individually, or even heading a club myself. By far what, or who, I’ll miss the most are the people because it’s not everyday that you see as many people my age and younger who want to do something about bettering their environments and communities.

Written By: Raymond, OT Intern 

Thank you Raymond for all your hard work throughout the year! So excited to see where you go in college!

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A Lasting Impact: Spreading Litter Awareness through Street Art

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For the final weekend event of the year, Oakland Tech interns joined alongside other Oakland students and community members for the first ever Paint the Town mural event, in partnership with the City of Oakland Transportation Department.

All individuals worked as a team to complete a student designed litter inspired street mural that will spread awareness about litter issues for years to come! Hear what a few of our interns had to say about their experiences.

Student Blog 

The work that I did on the mural made me feel like I was apart of something larger than just me. Working like a team to show to people what we do made me feel great, we made a difference. The event was fun to work with my friends and make something beautiful. Completing the mural made me feel like I accomplished something and it made me feel like there are others trying to change the world on step at a time. Personally my favorite part was getting the group photo after, like we did this as a team. The mural itself shows the people around it that there are others trying to make the place they live in cleaner and safer for their families. This was a tremendously fun event and it made me feel like that I could do something bigger around the world.

Written By: Petteri, OT Intern 

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Working on the mural alongside everyone was a wonderful experience. It started off pretty slow as people were starting to get assigned a portion of the piece to work on and then suddenly the white street was full of color. I felt accomplished and closer with the people around me. It was hot and we were all making mistakes and we’d correct each mistake with the paint we had on hand. I saw people blending the colors; others were adding on a few minor details. The entire process of just having fun and creating something with other people was a memorable experience. It a fun way to raise awareness and will definitely catch the attention of those passing by. To those aware of who contributed to the making and painting of the mural, they will know that there are people who strive to make a change in the world and that we aren’t limited to presentations and beach clean ups. These people are comprised of people with different talents and perspectives and capabilities and shows that we can contribute in so many different ways.

Written By: Angela, OT Intern 

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Public Speaking Practice: Tech Interns Sit on a 3-Bin System Student Panel

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On May 16th, Oakland Tech interns went on a visit to LPS Richmond for a first ever peer to peer student panel. Students from LPS Richmond showed a lot of interest in implementing a 3-Bin system on campus, and who better to chat with than our very own student experts!

Interns sat on a panel and answered numerous questions about the challenges of putting in a 3-Bin system, tips and tricks, and a whole lot else! Interns discussed how custodians are one of the most influential partners to make, and how setting goals and choosing a team can be a pivotal point for progress and success of the project.

Oakland Tech interns expressed a deep sense of purpose after leaving the panel. The team reflected that although they were nervous, they were confident that they had all the answers. It was a great experience for our schools to share knowledge and grow!

Good luck LPS Richmond with your student initiated 3-Bin system! 

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Audit Data Shows Contamination Rates Lowest to Date!

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To close off the year, interns conducted their final audit of the program. Interns knew exactly what they were doing, and even better, why they were doing it. After a year of hard work, the team wanted to see data that could serve as proof that their efforts with worth it, and lucky for them, they got the data they wanted to see!

Pre 3-Bin System, audit data showed a 91% contamination in the landfill stream for Tech trash. For the first time since the 3-Bin system started, the recycling contamination showed a rate below 10%, totaling at a small 6% contamination in the school wide recycling stream. The compost steam totaled in at 20% contamination, although over half the bags had little to no contamination. All in all, students were ecstatic to see the tangible results of all of their hard work.

Student Blog | Written By – Lucy, OT Intern

Conducting our final audit showed me how far we’ve come since I joined Earth Team in 2016. We’ve gone from almost all our waste being put carelessly into the landfill to having the majority sorted using the 3 bin system. During our first audit this year, other interns seemed confused about the purpose of the audit and didn’t really seem to care much for it. However after our last audit, I could tell that even if it wasn’t a super fun experience, every intern was passionate about the audit. As a group, I can tell that we’ve grown more committed and passionate about our goals.

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Through this process, I think I’ve gained the ability to work hard at something to see results. Audits have given us the data we need to put the 3 bin system in at Tech, and they prove that our work has improved our school for the better. Seeing the final contamination rates made me feel proud of what we’ve accomplished these last two years. Although there’s still work to do, our internship has helped make a long lasting change in our school community. Before the 3 bin system, I doubt most people at our school had any regard for where there trash ended up. Now, even if they aren’t using the system correctly every single time, they are more aware of how they can help their community.

Written By – Lucy, OT Intern

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GREAT JOB INTERNS! 

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CoCo’s Civic Engagement Project with Earth Team

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Student Blog | Written By – CoCo, OT Intern 

For my civic engagement project in history I decided to do Earth team, specifically the education campaign. On May 17th, I presented for my government class the work I had done with Earth team and how I educated students on sorting. I ended up getting an A on my presentation and my teacher said she’d give me an extra credit opportunity. The extra credit opportunity was to come after school and present to other government teachers about my civic engagement project. I came to the classroom and there were about twenty five teachers. I did a quick run through of the education campaign and its effectiveness as well as challenges. After, my teacher asked why I thought waste reduction was a good civic engagement project. I told her that unlike volunteering somewhere for just a few hours, the three bin system is institutionalized at Tech. We are making Tech a more sustainable school for the years to come. I have been fortunate to see the transformation of Tech from a school with no 3 bin system, to one with a 3 bin system and students educated on sorting. The teachers were very attentive and impressed with my presentation. I am very glad I had the opportunity to tell a crowd what Earth Team has been passionately working on.

Written By – CoCo, OT Intern 

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