Supporting innovative ideas and entrepreneurial intuition, two central Alberta schools are among the top 100 finalists in the Superpower your School contest, put on by Staples Canada in honor of Earth Day.
The winning 10 schools from across Canada will receive $20,000 worth of technology upgrades for their school, to honor their continued contributions to the environment.
Lacombe Composite High School is one of those finalists thanks to their extensive environmental work done by the Ecovision Club.
Advisor of the EcoVision Club and teacher Steven Shultz says they've expanded their work with bees this year.
“We’ve started a comprehensive, 20 credit bee keeping course, and the latest is we’ve approached the City of Lacombe and got permission to start an urban bee keeping program here in Lacombe. Yesterday (March 12th) was out first community meeting and we had 18 individuals from Lacombe show interest in the program, which is pretty cool.”
Students from Aspen Heights Elementary School in Red Deer are also among the finalists, and they are thrilled to be recognised for their environmental contributions.
The environmental charge was spearheaded by the MicoSociety, which is a student run society complete with a working government and businesses run entirely by the students.
MicroSociety Coordinator Allan Baile explains what they all do.
“One is the Fish and Wildlife Department and they take care of all of our animals. We have an aquaponics and hydroponics kits and frogs and insects and bugs. We do a big insect program here where we are trying to release insects into the urban environment. We also have Green World Foundation, which takes of the physical part of the environment here in our school, then we have another one called Worm Wranglers, and they take care of all the growing of our plants.”
Projects that helped winning schools stand out include restoring a native plant garden, reducing paper usage through online learning applications, “Zinc Saves Lives”, a recycling program for battery’s from cell phones, and bringing your own water bottle to school to reduce the amount of plastic bottles being used.
It was the combination of all of these initiatives that put them into the finals, along with 6 other Alberta schools.
The winning schools to be announced sometime in April to coincide with Earth Day, which takes place April 22nd.
(A greenhouse made out of 1600 plastic pop bottles made by students at Aspen heights Elementary. Photo courtesy of Allan Baile)