Earth Team Cancels All Program Events Due to Air Quality Conditions

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Dear Earth Team community,

We wanted to share with all our  2018-19 Sustainable Youth Program interns and friends some thoughts regarding our planned events and the air quality issues in the Bay Area as a result of the Camp Fire.  This unprecedented fire is having a profound impact on communities across Northern California.  Although the fire may not directly impact us in the Bay Area, we have all been experiencing here the harmful effects of poor air quality.

Due to current circumstances, Earth Team will be canceling all program events beginning on Saturday, November 17th through Monday, November 26th.  All weekend events will be rescheduled to a later date, and weekly afterschool meetings will reconvene after Thanksgiving break.

Our intention is always to provide consistent programs for our students, holding to our schedules and plans, but safety is always first.

Earth Team would like to thank all of our interns and supporters for working together to improve the environment.

Please reach out to Joelle Alley at joelle@earthteam.net with any questions or concerns, and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Sincerely,

Earth Team Staff .

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Preparing for the Green Team Summit!

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Student Blog 

During our after-school meeting, we came together to plan our day at the Green Team Summit. Our team chose to focus on the importance of communicating with staff such as administrators, custodians, and teachers. With our goal being to educate students the different types of adults they may run into while they attempt to implement the sorting system at their school.

After establishing our goal, we came up with a way to present our information and tips about implementing the sorting system. We all worked together to decide who was best for each role then split up into stations and worked on our part.

Marco and I were on the presentation committee since we would be presenting at the Green Team Summit. We planned and put together a presentation explaining why it is essential to have healthy and positive connections with the staff at our schools. Staff can often contribute positively or in some cases hinder a team’s ability to implement the sorting system. The team is still in the process of finalizing the workshop for the Green Team Summit.

We are all looking forward to the day!

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Written By: Kathy, Oakland Tech Intern 

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Surveying 3-Bin System Infrastructure at Oakland Tech

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Student Blog 

For the campus brute survey, we received a map with the location of all our sorting systems. The purpose of the brute survey was to check on our bins and observe what needed to be changed or kept at each station. The brute survey helped us understand what stations needed more recycling, landfill, and compost bins.

To begin, we distributed the walkie-talkies and then split up into groups and decided one group would check on stations located inside and the other group would check on stations located outside. We all went to the stations and looked to see that all the bins matched the ones on the map. Once we were done, we met back up at the classroom and then discussed all the new changes that needed to be made. The campus brute survey was useful because it helped us organize, replace, and add bins where they were most needed at Tech.

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Written By: Kathy, Oakland Tech Intern 

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Preparing a Lesson Plan for the Green Team Summit

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Student Blog 

During this after-school meeting, we came together to plan our day at the Green Team Summit. Our team chose to focus on the importance of communicating with staff such as administrators, custodians, and teachers.

Our goal was to educate students about the different types of adults they may run into while they implement the sorting system at their school. After establishing our goal, we came up with a way to present our information and tips about implementing the sorting system.

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Written By: Katheline, Oakland Tech Intern 

The team is still in the process of finalizing the workshop for the day. Our team is looking forward to the day!

Supporting our Custodial Team

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Student Blog 

Meeting with custodial staff during a sorting system project is crucial because it gives insight into their perspective and any comments, concerns, and questions they may have. Oakland Tech Earth Team recently held a custodial meeting. Before we did this, we prepared by recording the key points we wanted to speak with them about.

These included materials to make their jobs easier, things we could do to support them, our concerns about the brute stations around the school, and anything else they wanted to speak with us about. It is important for us to have good communication and relationships with the staff at our school to make their jobs and our jobs run as smoothly as possible.

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We decided to assist with their cleaning routes after our meeting as a way to repay them for lending us their time. Asha and I helped to clean out the sorting systems in classrooms and sweep the hallways with a custodian. It was interesting to see how people are sorting in the classrooms because we usually only go through brute stations during audits. It also helped us to understand the job better. Interacting with the staff both during the meeting and afterward on their cleaning routes felt good because we got acquainted (reacquainted for Jenna and repeaters) with them, were able to hear their wants and needs, and could experience their concerns for ourselves.

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It was a learning experience for all involved and came with some surprises, such as how drastic the amount of contamination in different classrooms was. I would like for custodians to know that we are very open to hearing their input and they can and should share their comments, concerns, and questions with us whenever they feel it is necessary.

Written By: Jade, Oakland Tech Intern 

Hear from our team and what they thought about the experience!

“I was really surprised to see how much they do. There were so many things for us to push around and carried I don’t know how someone could do that by themselves. And also all of the smells. Like it was smelling so gross and weird things in the bins. I appreciate them for biting the bullet and doing that for us. it was hard work.” – Asha

“I could not imagine doing that every day, it was really interesting to see a completely different path in life from the people I know. I think it’s really good and constructive to hear their input.” – Jade

“I enjoyed getting to know the janitor. It was interesting seeing for the first time how a janitor does his job. I realized that it’s pretty hard to be a janitor and they should never be ridiculed for their job.” – Espen

“It was really good. Or castoffs was really nice and outgoing. Our custodian seemed to know the teachers in his area decently” – Marco

“it was interesting to do the routes with the custodians I realized how much contamination was happening at Tech I think it would be helpful to educate teachers on the three bin system and to tell their students about it” – Kathy

“Working with the custodians was pretty cool because we got to see the skills that they use every day that we usually overlook. I also liked working with a custodian because he showed such great gratitude for the small amount of help that We gave showing how much he appreciates student interactions” – Jaiden

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Defining What Respect Means for our Team

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On Wednesday, students gathered in the van and headed out to Temescal Park for a significant meeting. The team sat in a circle and dedicated time to talk about respect; the goal was to come up with a group definition of what that would look like throughout the year.

Here from a student on what they thought about the day.

Student Blog

I remember that I didn’t want to do this circle. I’m a little bit of a shielded person, so I was nervous to have all of my information and inner thoughts all out in the open. Once we got into the flow of people sharing, it was a really good experience. We sat in a big circle, and we all shared something we felt about respect or a definition we had for it.

We talked about what respect looks like, how it feels to receive respect and the overall importance of it. It was very interesting to sit there because everyone had something different to say so I was able to get a new and different perspective on who everyone was in the group. In the beginning, I remember just sitting there and listening so that I could take it all in. I remember then sharing what I was feeling I think it was connecting to be able to share what I was feeling and then hearing that other people were agreeing with me and building off of different things we were saying.

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Written by: Asha, Oakland Tech Intern 

The remainder of the day was spent getting to know one another a bit more and enjoying the beautiful day!

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Youth Gather Together For Coastal Clean-Up Day

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 10.01.03 AM.pngThe day kicked off the day with some bagels and pastries, just mingling. Then everyone gathered around and some representatives from Friends of Sausal who began to talk about the importance and purpose of us all coming to help. I remember him thanking us, and how dedicated he was to the cause, I liked that because it’s great to have people that care about our environment.

He explained the different groups that we would be in and then we all separated and got our proper tools for the job. We went from the Scout Hut and walked across, past the pool, past the playground, into the woods and followed a path across a road into more woods. The original group I was in was pulling up blackberry plants and ivory. Blackberry plants and ivory plants are very invasive. Native plants that grow there don’t have space to grow, or the blackberry plants overtake them and can prevent them from growing.

I went to a different group later on the day. In that group, we were cutting down some invasive species and cutting it up to put on a tarp that other people could dispose of in a yard waste dumpster. I liked doing it because we were able to be so aggressive with it and it was very hands on. Jade and I were a power team and got it done so fast; it felt really good to do and to know that I’m helping.

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We were able to mingle with people from other schools and other people with similar interest in the environment. I even saw a teacher from my elementary school. It was a really great experience, and I can’t wait to be able to do it again next year. Maybe it’ll become a tradition that I can get my family to do with me :).

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Written By: Asha, Oakland Tech Intern 

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Analyzing the Campus Litter Situation

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Student Blog

Recently, Earth Team at Oakland Tech assessed the litter on our campus. During an after-school meeting, we went to all parts of our main campus and used the Marine Debris Tracker app to record where litter was concentrated and what specific items were most commonly dropped.

We did this to make it easier for us to educate our peers in the future and focus our education based on the data we collected. The Marine Debris Tracker app is an application we use on our phones and the Earth Team iPads to put down the locations, and types of trash or litter found when doing cleanups. It helps to clarify the issues within a community. It also makes interns jobs easier because we don’t have to track everything by hand.

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My experience with the app has always been very positive; it is easy to use and helpful. I was surprised at how little litter we ended up having to pick up and track, and how it was clustered/concentrated in small areas. Also, I was surprised that there were only around 300 pieces collected on campus, sometimes in other areas, it is more like 3,000. Good job Tech!

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Written By: Jade, Oakland Tech Intern 

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Meet Tech’s 2018-2019 Leadership Team!

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Learn more about this year’s interns, why they decided to join Earth Team, and what they are hoping to gain from the experience. We are excited to have a new team on board!

This year, Oakland Tech interns will be expanding their waste reduction efforts. The internship team will be working with students and green clubs from 2-3 other OUSD high schools, supporting on-campus sorting efforts. Support includes; an informative guide to implementing sorting systems on campus, waste audit/audit report workshops, shared best practices on working with school staff, and more!

Check out the Team!

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My name is Katheline Vanegas, I am a senior this year. I joined Earth Team because I wanted to join last year but wasn’t able to because I missed the deadline. I am really excited to participate this year. A fun fact about me is that I am a photographer.

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My name is Asha and I am a sophomore at Oakland Tech. This is my second year doing Earth Team, and I am so glad it is still an opportunity. Last year, I joined because I really wanted to help out my communities environment as much as I could because I could see how corrupt it was getting. I wanted to learn how I could help and Earth Team offers that, and great people to be around.

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I am Jaiden Zak and I am in 12th grade at Oakland Tech. I hope that Earth Team will help me gain insight into the ecological state of my community and what I can do to help it. One interesting fact about me is that I have two different colored eyes.

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My name is Carson Lang and I am a senior at Oakland Tech High School. I am 17 years old. I joined Earth Team because I am interested in learning how to help the environment. I have never had this type of experience before, which inspired me to join. One fun fact about me is that I have been playing guitar for 8+ years.

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My name is Nolan Brady and I am in 12th grade. I joined Earth Team because I am really interested in gaining experience in working with a team and gaining experience in the STEM field. I fun fact about me is that my handwriting hasn’t improved since kindergarten.

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My name is Marco Oliveira and I am from the Oakland Bay area and attend Oakland Tech High School. Since I was little I’ve been an outdoorsy kid and loved all outdoor physical activities! The projects and trips Earth Team offers allows me to do the things I love but with an actual purpose.

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My name is Jade and I am a sophomore at Oakland Tech. I originally joined Earth Team because I wanted to be more active in the Bay Area’s environmental community. I rejoined for my second year because I loved the experience I had last year and our group at Tech, as well as the activities we participated in. Fun fact: I can lick my elbow.

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I am Espen and I am a sophomore at Oakland Tech. I enjoy learning about the environment and helping save it. When I found out about Earth Team I saw it as a good opportunity.

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My name is Ariana Raphael and I am currently a senior at Oakland Technical High School, I am 17 years old. I am passionate about making a change in the world I live in and I hope that someday the Earth’s health is put as a communal priority. From Earth Team, I hope to educate and be educated about what humans can do to better the Earth.

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