Project Citizen

Possible Solutions

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 In our class, we came up with many solutions for our topic of  "Green Schools". We paired up into smaller groups and made at least four possible solutions per group. After the brainstorming, our class then voted on the solutions and narrowed it down to the top three. We had many possible solutions that we could have gone with instead, but we decided to go with computer classrooms and motion sensor lights. Here are a couple other possible solutions that we had a choice of...


Indoor Planting

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       A description of the possible solution:                                                         

 We could get a lot of plants and make different gardens like rain gardens and plant them all around the school. This could make our school prettier, give us more healthy oxygen, and would be great to making our school more green. We could also make small pots of plants for the classrooms inside so when it is cold out, we can still have them everywhere. This could make our school more environmentally friendly because plants can help the environment and give the air more oxygen to make the air quality better.


    What are the advantages for the possible solution?

          o  It would make the air quality better.

          o  It would make the school prettier.

          o  If the plants are inside, we could keep the trend going all year round.

    What are the disadvantages for the possible solution?                     

          o  It could attract a lot of bugs.

          o  It would cost a lot of money.

          o  It would take a lot of work and a lot of people.

    What is the feasibility of each of your solutions?  Make predictions and explain how you came up with your answers.                               

          o It would cost a lot because of all the the plants and pots. It would cost around a hundred dollars to $5000 dollars.

          o + It would make the air smell better and cleaner.
             - Some kids might have pollen allergies and would be effected by the plants.

          o It would be easy getting the plants but tedious to water them every other day.



Daylighting

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     A description of the possible solution:                                                         

  A way to save energy would be to make all the windows bigger.  We would get more natural light in the rooms and wouldn’t need to have as many lights on if any.  Bigger windows would let more light shine threw one window, so with at least two windows in every room that would be a lot of light.  That would drastically reduce the amount of lights we would have to use, which would save a lot of energy.

     What are the advantages for the possible solution?

          o  We would save energy by not having as many lights on all at once

          o  Electricity bills would drastically go down

          o  We wouldn’t need to worry about paying repair men to fix lights whenever they break

     What are the disadvantages for the possible solution?

          o  During bad weather we would have to use lights and the bigger windows would be pointless

          o  It would take a long time to get every window in the school bigger and would cost a lot of money

          o  During tornadoes it’s very dangerous to be near windows, and it would be even more dangerous with more room for debris to crash into the school.  There would be no windows in places like bathrooms, but the trip to those rooms during a dangerous storm would be even more dangerous then before.

     What is the feasibility of each of your solutions?  Make predictions and explain how you came up with your answers.                                        

          o It would cost over $1000 to get more windows in every room.

          o + We would save energy on electricity and some studies show that in a lighter room, people tend to be more happy and honest.

             - It would cost a lot and windows let in cold air in the winter.

          o It would be very hard to make every window in the school bigger, and would take a long time.  It would also be hard to find volunteers willing to do it, and if there aren’t any volunteers it would be very expensive to hire workers to do the work for the school.  The plan would be mostly effective, but only on really sunny days.  If it were cloudy or raining, then the plan would be useless. 




Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

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A description of the possible solution:                                                       

  We could turn some of the trash bins in the lunch room into recycling bins.  We have normal recycling bins in all the class rooms, but not when we’re at lunch and our using things like paper bags that could be recycled.  If we got everyone to recycle during lunch we could make a big difference.  Recycling is taking old used materials and re-using them and making them into new material items.

What are the advantages for the possible solution?

          o  It could save a lot of paper, which means it would save a lot of trees

          o  It could get students (and teachers) into the habit of recycling everyday

          o  It could help reduce the six of landfills since more things would be being reused

What are the disadvantages for the possible solution?                      

          o  We wouldn’t have as many trash cans for the non recyclable things to be thrown out in

          o  We would have to get everyone to use them, and we can’t know for sure everyone would

What is the feasibility of each of your solutions?  Make predictions and explain how you came up with your answers                                

         o It would cost basically nothing. The only cost would be getting recycling bins, which don't cost much. In fact, we could just use the bins we have already and put recycle signs on them.

         o + The advantages would include less liter, less injuries, (there would be a smaller chance people of slipping on papers ) smaller land fills, and a cleaner future.
            - The disadvantages, though, would include the fact that people might not recycle, even with the extra bins.


         o Very easy. We could even have the second graders from elementary schools make the signs!





Don't Write Papers on Paper

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    A description of the possible solution:                                                          

  Since schools waist a lot on paper we should have the papers we write in English and other classes be put on jump drives for the teachers to grade on their computer.  We would write all our papers on the computer, and give our jump drive for all the teachers to grade so we don’t have to wait as much paper. 

     What are the advantages for the possible solution?

          o  It would save paper

          o  It would save ink which would save money

          o  It would save extra work for the students

     What are the disadvantages for the possible solution?                      

          o  It would be harder for the kids who don’t have computers

          o  The students would have to give up their jump drives as the papers were being graded

          o  The teachers wouldn’t be able to mark corrections and comments, and they would be responsible for a lot of jump drives

     What is the feasibility of each of your solutions?  Make predictions and explain how you came up with your answers                                

          o It would cost some money since all the students would have to get flash drives. Also,  the students would need more than one of them because each flash drive only has so much memory.

          o + This plan would be pretty effective since we would be saving a whole bunch of trees from their untimely deaths and it would mean that some of the forests might be able to survive until the end 21st century. Another plus is that weebly.com now has a Weebly for Education, which allows teachers to accept homework assignments online and create class blogs.
             - This plan would not be effective because the teachers could lose the flash drives and the student(s) would have to buy a new one.

          o It would be medium hard because all the students would need to get a flash drives and the teachers would need to collect them all. Flash drives are very small and easy to lose. Stores might also run out of flash drives or someone's flash drive could get ruined.





Say No to Bus Idling

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     A description of the possible solution:

  We could get signs approved by the city that say that cars and buses waiting in the parking lot for kids after school have to turn off their engines after they wait.  We could also send out e-mails telling the parents and bus drivers about the new rule, and we could make an announcement on the intercom during the announcements telling the kids who don’t have e-mails to inform their parents about the change.

   What are the advantages for the possible solution?

          o  There wouldn’t be as much bus and car idling

          o  It would smell better

          o  It could spread the word about not idling and get other people out side of school to be aware of it and turn off their engines too.

   What are the disadvantages for the possible solution?                      

          o  In the winter the cars and buses would be a lot colder when the kids got in

          o  Some parents and bus drivers wouldn’t want to do it

          o  It would be hard to get the sign since the city would have to get involved

   What is the feasibility of each of your solutions?  Make predictions and explain how you came up with your answers                                

         o It would actually save money with little cost. We would be saving trillions of dollars around the United States if we all stopped idling our buses for a   few minutes each day. Even though the signs would cost some money, we would be making a very good investment that would be rather effective in a mater of months if people followed the signs.

         o + It would save a whole lot of money and it would lessen carbon emissions.
            - The signs cost money, no matter how little. We would also have to have people put up the signs and that would mean more red tape since we definitely do not want for the signs to hurt underground wires.

         o It would be somewhat easy. Putting up signs are not that hard, except for the red tape that we would have to go over with our city's mayor so that we could be sure that it is legal and that we don't hit any wires that might be underground. However, even after we put up the signs, it might not be as easy to get everyone to follow the signs. But in the case that people do follow the signs, then our city will be less polluted.


Green Roofs and Gardens

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A description of the possible solution:   
                                                            
                      We could plant roof-top gardens that would help with the air, decor, and our 'green' level. It would also give us 'free' fresh fruits and vegetables for our cooking classes. It could also be part of the cooking classes or we could maybe start a gardening class.

What are the advantages for the possible solution?
 
o  Free fruits and vegetables that are fresh.     
o  Gives roof a good meaning.
o  Reduces heat escape   
      

What are the disadvantages for the possible solution?                         

o   Costs a lot.
o   Takes time to grow. 
o   People would have to take care of it daily.   


What is the feasibility of each of your solutions?                                        

o Cost: $5-10 per square foot for all the plants, seeds, dirt, and fertilizer that we would need to have a rooftop garden.
o + It would help the air and would be learning experience.
   - Takes a long time to come into effect.    
o Medium~Hard; it would be difficult to build. And if we weren't to build it, then we would have to get human labor. Human labor isn't very cheep though.

 



Reduce Pollution

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A description of the possible solution:

In this solution, we would try to make everyone make sure to throw garbage away and pick up any garbage on the ground. We would want to convince the students to not pollute our Earth and keep our environment clean. And they would be able to do so if we put this plan into action. 


What are the advantages for the possible solution?


oThe environment would be cleaner.

oIt would look better outside.
oThere would not be as much garbage on the ground.


What are the disadvantages for the possible solution?

oIt might be hard to put into action. 

oThe trashcans would fill up faster.
oIt would be harder to change the trashcans more often.
 


What is the feasibility of each of your solutions?

oThere would be no cost associated with this possible solution.
oThe plan would be very affective on the environment outside.
oThis would be somewhat easy as long as we can make all of the students participate.

 



Raising Awareness

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A description of the possible solution:                                                    
 
This plan would just be as simple as saying something on the announcements or putting signs up so that everyone is aware about green schools. Every day we could say something different about green schools on the announcements. If we can let everybody know about green schools, we can get much more support.

What are the advantages for the possible solution?


o We could get more people to know about green schools. 
o We could give out information that we think people should know.
o We could get support from others to make the schools around us even greener.
 
What are the disadvantages for the possible solution?

                       
o It would take up more time on the announcements.
o If we put up posters, it would use a lot of paper.
o We would have to find different ways to raise awareness.  
 
What is the feasibility of each of your solutions? 

                                      
o This plan might cost up to $50 but only if we decide to make signs. Otherwise it wouldn't cost anything.
o This plan would be very affective once we get it into play.
o It would be easy to implement as long as we can think of enough ways to get the message about green schools out.