Environmental ingenuity leads Shaler Area students to honor
Shaler Area High School students are taking their green thumbs out into the community and being recognized for their efforts.
Student again won first place for their environmental action plan and second place overall in the Fairchild Challenge at Phipps, a yearlong environmental competition.
More than 50 students participated in a series of “challenges” for the competition between September and May.
“Everybody found their niche and participated in what they found most interesting and fit their interests and talents,” said Christina Palladino, high school gifted and talented education, or GATE, teacher who sponsored the participating students.
Students concentrated their environmental action plan to benefit the environment at students' homes, the school and the community.
A group of freshmen organized a program on the monarch butterfly for 28 fourth-grade GATE students to teach them about conservation and how to grow butterfly gardens at home. The students then created a monarch way station at the high school.
Marnie Potter, a junior, also involved the life-skills students in the Fairchild Challenge project by having them create stepping stones for around the high school greenhouse and planting flowers in decorated pots to take home.
“I thought it was so great to get them involved,” Potter said. “(This) is a pretty big project in the GATE room, but to get the life-skills kids involved is great. It's them leaving their mark on the greenhouse.”
Students also focused on the community by preparing and planting an 1840s-period herb and vegetable garden at the historic Lightner House in Shaler and planting produce in the community gardens in Etna to benefit the residents and the borough's food pantries.
Matt Everett, a senior, worked in the greenhouse to grow seedlings last year and this year and took his skills to Etna to plant the seedlings he had helped grow.
“It was cool to talk to them (people in the borough) to see how what we were doing was affecting others,” Everett said.
Last year, the students' efforts yielded 600 pounds of produce for food pantries and residents.
“Shaler has had been incredibly innovative in their environmental action (plan),” said Kate Borger, high school program coordinator at Phipps Conservatory. “They have gone outside of their school and working in their school … they have also gone into their community.
“We ask for environmental action to be more than the home and school community, but theirs has really reached a lot of people.”
Students already are making plans to continue their efforts next year. They plan to continue to volunteer at the Garden of Etna; and Andrew Hyatt, a junior, is working on organizing phase two for the Lightner House garden.
“I think there is a definite volunteerism and community spirit that is exciting,” Palladino said. “Every year they come up with more exciting projects, more involved projects and they're excited about it.”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Photo Gallery “Toddler and Preschool Fitness” at the Northland Public Library
- ‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’ gives Hampton native opportunity to shine
- Recycling efforts growing at Hampton’s Poff Elementary
- North Hills students ready to cut loose
- Briefs: Nutrition topic of discussion at Passavant foundation program