California State University at Channel Islands along with a generous grant through VC STEM teamed up with a group of 6th graders from the University Preparation Charter School to complete a trash assessment of their Pre K-8 school campus.
The Jr. Scientist program allowed a paid internship for Senior and Junior students as CSUCI to work as mentors with students in a K-12 school campus. The interns were surpervised by a faculty team member from CSUCI and also worked closely with the teachers at our school. The mentors came onto our campus multiple times to prepare us for a trash assessment on our campus and assisted us while we collected and analyzed our data. The interns will be required to present their experience with us at the SAGE Conference at CSUCI making the audience aware of the importance of trash pick up.
The Jr. Scientist program allowed the CSUCI mentors to gain experience in a classroom so that if they want to be a teacher later on, they will know what it was like. Staff members and student mentors work together to teach students the importance of the trash assessment, how to create a system to conduct regular tests, and how to analyze the results to improve the litter on the K-12 campus. They also provide a qualitative tool to assist in evaluating changes in the level of on-land trash that is transported by the storm water. The goal is that our school will continue to use the trash assessment protocol yearly to keep our campus litter free.
We just completed our very first trash assessment!