Santa Clara University

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The Official Blog of the 2009 Sustainability Decathlon

Learn more about the Sustainability Decathlon.


Reflections of participants in the 2009 Sustainability Decathlon

The following postings have been filtered by tag Mid-point reflections. clear filter
  •  Mid-point reflections

    Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2009
    Once we laid out everything in front of them in a more manageable fashion, they began to get their motivation back and some of the feelings of being overwhelmed seemed to subside.
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  •  Mid-Point Reflections

    Thursday, Mar. 12, 2009

    They want to set up an e-waste recycling program together for their school as well as the surrounding community, but they were getting weighed down by how difficult that task may be to accomplish. I told them that they should take one step at a time and simply find out if there are companies around the area that will take e-waste, if they pick up, what they pick up, how much it costs (if at all), etc. Simply ask questions and see where it takes them.

    We decided that we might as well try it right then and see how it goes. They all elected one of the students to make the call—he said that he was not good at communicating, but he went ahead and did it anyway. He made the call, asked the questions and found out, quite immediately, that not only would they pick up anything, anytime, anyplace, but also that it was free!

    First of all, the student did a great job communicating and acted as mature as any adult would have been, if not more. As soon as he hung up the phone, everyone started clapping and cheering and the excitement in the room was invigorating. The immediate shift from skepticism and doubt to sheer ecstasy and hope in what they were doing was heart-warming and put me in an amazing mood that I am still on as I write this…and probably still when you read this!

  •  Mid-point reflections

    Thursday, Mar. 12, 2009

    Because I came into the class this quarter as an environmental studies student, I felt that I was pretty knowledgeable in the area of sustainability. What I did not expect what that the students I was going to be working with would be so knowledgeable as well. Not only were they the winners of the 2007 Decathalon, but they also are self-motivated and have a humorous group dynamic that allows for creativity to flow, even though they are extremely modest.

    There is an aspect now in my mind when I think of sustainability that includes a community working together, as opposed to individual efforts that are combined. I think I underestimated the ability of a group with motivation to not only make big plans, but also to demonstrate the actions needed to accomplish the plans.

    I received an e-mail on Tuesday from Brian, a member of the team, giving us an update of what they’ve done since the past meeting, and not only have they accomplished the smaller tasks, but they also created a comprehensive list of what is needed for their large project. All I can say is that I cannot wait to continue working with this group of students next quarter.

  •  Mid-point reflections

    Thursday, Mar. 12, 2009

    It has been rewarding to participate in the Sustainability Decathlon this quarter. There have been ups and downs, but everything has been a useful learning experience. My experiences working with Saint Ignatius and Silver Creek High School have been unique and challenging in different ways. Both schools have some really exciting projects planned for the Sustainability Decathlon. It seems to me that if I were to sum up this quarter in one sentence, it would be that the majority of the time it has been spent preparing for the implementation of project ideas.

    I am especially excited for spring quarter to start so we can start to see projects happen! Also, I cannot wait to see the final presentations in May, especially because I did not get to see them the last time I participated in the Sustainability Decathlon! It seems to me that it is very important for these students to have the opportunity to showcase all of their hard work.

  •  Mid-point reflections

    Thursday, Mar. 12, 2009

    The freshmen and sophomores in Mr. Dowling’s first period biology class have proven to be true Chargers (Wilcox’s beloved mascots) since the beginning of the Sustainability Decathlon competition. Intrigued by challenges and proactive in their actions, the students have developed ideas, plans, and projects through independent collaboration and hard work to meet the requirements of the 10 Sustainability categories.

    Divided into six teams, yet united by goals, the students have focused their efforts on a few key areas for the decathlon. Needless to say they have not only blown away their mentors, but it is likely the will blow away the competition as well! Some of the work done on their respective projects has been done during class time, thanks to the generosity of Mr. Dowling, but much of it has been done independently and outside of class as well. The students have been very aggressive in setting goals and coming up with a variety of projects, and so far have followed through on the majority of their plans, all with much support from their teacher, mentors, faculty/staff, and fellow peers.

    Team Wilcox has big plans for making sustainability a central aspect of their campus life, first by winning this competition!

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