Project Title: Educating Teens on How to Reduce Plastic Pollution and on the Utilization of Available Resources for Sustainable Living
BASIS Advisor: Matthew Moreland
Internship Location: Little Penguin Colony in Sydney, Australia
Onsite Mentor: Lisa O’Neill
This study will explore a creative way to inspire growing climate activists by utilizing measured plastic waste from oceans and waterways in the population of Manly, Sydney, Australia, to build nest boxes for the Little Penguin colony. Researchers suggest that eco-bricks filled with a "single inorganic" waste type could work efficiently as a construction material while preserving in a separate container a single inorganic material that eventually could be recovered when other ways of adding value or recycling would be available. Other studies effectively encourage experiential learning, teamwork with young people and children, creativity, and invention, emphasizing that projects that incorporate these ideals are more successful and long-lasting, and result in healthier communities. My project begins by building an academic foundation through research literature obtained from online resources to establish a conceptual framework, progressing into the creation of Youtube Videos, blog reports, and surveys. Meeting with a first-grade class (the independent variable) and introducing my project to them would be the first step before leaving on my trip, while purposefully excluding another first-grade class (the control group). Weekly videos of my project’s progress with the creation of my nest boxes, while also having the first graders create their own in-class eco-bricks would be vital to my goal. Teachers being surveyed about how their student's sense of agency is being nurtured through my project will be essential to my results. My project is dedicated to me doing my part in whatever form it takes to ensure our, as humans, future isn't what research has described it to be. If anyone who reads my blogs and follows up on my Eco-brick project takes anything away from it, let it be that the one thing we need more than hope is action. Because once people start to act, hope is everywhere we look. Hope grows into inspiration and inspiration into motivation. Motivation for a better future, for me and for many more to come. So instead of looking for hope, look for action. And one day, maybe even today, if and when enough people come together, we too will make waves and watch the world change but it is up to each of us to make an effort because time is of the essence, and only together can we make it through. By creating eco-built nest boxes for the Little Penguins and amplifying the concept of “environmental friendliness” in the Sydney community and Basis community, this study seeks to evaluate the significance of regenerative projects that embody the significant traits of animal conservation and plastic pollution awareness in the lives of the youth.