Herricks sophomores solve climate issues

From left: Superintendent Fino Celano, teacher Renée Barcia, Mina Li, Sarah Ninan, Legislator Ellen Birnbaum, Alyssa Lam, Roshni Patel, Prableen Kaur, High School Principal Joan Keegan and Science department chairperson Karen Hughes. (Photo courtesy of Herricks Public Schools)

A group of Herricks High School sophomores recently won the Lexus Eco Challenge’s Air and Climate Challenge, which the students entered through their involvement in Science Research, under the direction of teacher Renée Barcia.

Barcia was joined by Superintendent Fino Celano, principal Joan Keegan, science department chairperson Karen Hughes, and Nassau County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum, who was visiting the school on Jan. 31, to commend the students.

Prableen Kaur, Alyssa Lam, Mina Li, Sarah Ninan, and Roshni Patel comprised a team, called “The Cli-Mates,” which developed a low carbon dieting plan to help reduce the number of greenhouse emissions.

Through research, they discovered that 20 percent of Americans produce over 50 percent of total greenhouse emissions from food products alone. They set out to find solutions, which include using carbon-free foods and recipes, shopping at local markets, and being aware of consumption and waste.

They further noted that in addition to helping the environment, low carbon diets have positive health benefits.

Birnbaum congratulated the students and presented them with certificates of acknowledgment.

“What you’re doing is really important, because you’re coming up with a way to help our communities and society by creating a low-carbon footprint,” Birnbaum said.

The team will now move on to the final round.

According to Scholastic, which presents the Lexus Eco Challenge, the annual program invites students in grades six through 12 to tackle environmental issues in their communities, create and submit their action plans and results, and compete nationally for grants and scholarships.

In support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda, the contest gets students involved in project-based learning, teamwork, and skill-building.

Submitted by Syntax and Herricks Public Schools


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