SCU CCA Refract House US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
Harker
Harker
San Jose High
San Jose High
Wilcox High
Wilcox High
Goofy mentors
Goofy mentors
Award
Award
The logo for Sustainability Decathlon 2009
The logo for Sustainability Decathlon 2009
St Lawrence
St Lawrence
Silver Creek
Silver Creek
concept  ::  Outreach  ::

Overview

Our outreach efforts have been focused on teaching people about the Refract House, what the current state of US Power consumption is, and what differences they can make. Whether it is selling food at parades or giving tours to 11-year old campers, we take every opportunity to share our knowledge with our community. The best proof of this is the Sustainability Decathlon program which we ran again.

Sustainability Decathlon

Education is one of the key elements of our mission for the Solar Decathlon. The Sustainability Decathlon, funded by an Intel Grant, is an outreach project directed towards high school students in order to educate them about sustainability issues and our environment while being mentored by students from Santa Clara University. The Sustainability Decathlon has been designed to incorporate aspects of the Solar Decathlon competition and the Refract House into the curriculum for the high school students.

The 2009 Sustainability Decathlon Exhibition took place in May and was a success! Six teams from Santa Clara, San Jose, and San Francisco came to Santa Clara University to present their sustainable projects and ideas they had been working on since February. The 10 categories of the Sustainability Decathlon encompass the three vital aspects of the sustainability revolution: economic, social and environmental. A detailed toolkit was provided for each student team, including project ideas and resources for each category. The total points each team earned determined the overall winner of the competition. The ten categories were: Science and Technology, Food and Agriculture, Social Responsibility, Communication (interpersonal), Communication (via technology), Conservation, Connections (with the natural environment), Connections (education and leadership), Connections (regional/global), and Green Living/Sustainable Habits.

Each team put in a great amount of time and effort to come up with projects that would help their families, schools, and communities lead more sustainable lives. The Sustainability Decathlon was also a great experience for the college mentors who enjoyed watching the high school students as they increased their knowledge of sustainability and accomplished their goals.

The 6 Schools:

St. Ignatius developed a sustainability plan for their school... including how they operate their cafeteria, eliminating water bottles, etc.

Presentation held an earth day event and has plans to start a community garden near their campus, lead by parents.

Silver Creek took young students hiking to help them develop a connection to nature, and held an eco-fashion show on earth day.

San Jose, a very resource-poor school, started a recycling program based on free resources provided by the city of San Jose.

Wilcox developed a speaker series to bring visitors to lecture at their school. They regularly volunteer at a local habitat resortation project in Santa Clara.

Harker school checked tire pressure in their school's parking lot, and left notes on cars' windshields to inform drivers if their pressure was low.