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Early College unveils global projects

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Johnae Westmoreland, 15, talks about her project at the global project gallery walk Tuesday at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro.

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BY JOHN H. WALKER
Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

TARBORO — As it nor­mally is, the atrium at Kei­hin Au­di­to­rium was a bee­hive of ac­tiv­ity around the noon hour on Tues­day as about 100 fresh­men, sopho­mores and se­niors at Edge­combe Early Col­lege High School showed off their Spring Global Pro­jects to each other and sev­eral teacher-judges who were strolling around the 39 projects.

Early Col­lege High School Prin­ci­pal Matt Smith said the ba­sis for the projects stemmed from the United Na­tions’ 17 Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals to help pro­mote and im­ple­ment so­lu­tions to global is­sues.

The 17 goals, tar­geted for being reached by 2030 by the UN, in­clude no poverty; zero hunger; good health and well-be­ing; qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion; gen­der equal­ity; clean wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion; af­ford­able and clean en­ergy; de­cent work and eco­nomic growth, in­dus­try, pro­duc­tion and in­fra­struc­ture; re­duced in­equal­i­ties; sus­tain­able cities and com­mu­ni­ties; re­spon­si­ble con­sump­tion and pro­duc­tion; cli­mate ac­tion; life be­low wa­ter; life on land; peace; jus­tice and strong in­sti­tu­tions and part­ner­ships for the goals.

The ef­fort has been a se­mes­ter-long process, said so­cial stud­ies teacher James Guy, who over­sees the project.

“We’ve done Spring Global Pro­jects for the last sev­eral years and this is the third year we’ve done the United Na­tions’ Sus­tain­able Pro­jects,” Guy said.

He noted that this year, stu­dents tar­geted spe­cific goals in which they were in­ter­ested.

The stu­dents were di­vided into 39 teams and team mem­bers took turns ex­plain­ing their projects to ob­servers as they stopped by.

Smith said that as a project was se­lected, stu­dents learned that the fin­ished project — de­signed to help them meet their goal — would come ei­ther as a model, a tool or a cam­paign. All three were on dis­play at the project un­veil­ing.

“You had some (ex­am­ples) of each,” Smith said as he told about se­nior Rey­naldo Moreno, who in­stalled a so­lar panel on top of a gazebo at the school to pro­vide a source for people to charge their lap­tops, cell phones and other elec­tronic de­vices.

Smith said Moreno picked a project in which he was in­ter­ested and did not let a mon­e­tary road­block stand in the way of reach­ing his goal.

“I talked with my mom and told her about my project,” Moreno said. “She said she could help me and made chili rel­lenos that my Dad sold at his work. She also made tamales and that raised the rest of the money, so I could pur­chase the so­lar panel, charge con­trols and ca­bles.”

Moreno said he was able to use a bat­tery from his sis­ter’s ve­hi­cle, which no longer was op­er­a­ble, to use to store the en­ergy from the so­lar panel.

Smith said there still was the is­sue of get­ting ev­ery­thing in­stalled, which Moreno ac­com­plished by ne­go­ti­at­ing with Fa­cil­i­ties Main­te­nance Worker Pro­gram in­struc­tor Dave Rum­mel.

“He did ev­ery­thing he needed to do to reach his ob­jec­tive,” said Smith, a broad smile on his face.

Un­der the gazebo, a cou­ple of de­vices were plugged in, charg­ing with­out con­sum­ing en­ergy.

Other projects in­cluded those to help make food avail­able and im­prove nu­tri­tion at a lower cost and a way to re­move trash from our wa­ters to make sure drink­ing wa­ter is safe.

Fresh­man Josh Rose has a gar­den on the cam­pus that in­cludes wa­ter­mel­ons, kale and toma­toes.

“They (the plants) are do­ing well,” he said. Once ready, Rose will do­nate his food to Tar­boro Com­mu­nity Outreach.

Sopho­mores Tira Farmer and K’mia White­hurst tack­led the same goal with their Blue Gar­den project, with the ob­jec­tive of pro­duc­ing more or­ganic food and re­duc­ing the de­pen­dency on non-or­ganic food.

K’mia said that by in­creas­ing or­ganic pro­duc­tion and eat­ing more or­ganic foods, peo­ple could ex­pe­ri­ence life­styles like those who live in the world’s “Blue Zones,” where peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence health­ier, longer lives.

The duo said their gar­den of let­tuce, toma­toes and cu­cum­bers were planted from seeds and was do­ing well on its cam­pus plot.

Team B, made up of se­niors Mandy Brake and Dy­lan Brown, looked at ways to clean up the wa­ter and re­duce pol­lu­tion from plas­tics and other trash.

The pair took a ra­dio-con­trolled boat, out­fit­ted it with a pair of soc­cer goal-look­ing nets on ex­tend­ing arms and tested it on Wig­gins Lake to see what effect it could have.

“It got a lit­tle,” Brake said, “but if we just stopped and picked up trash when we saw it wasn’t where it was sup­posed to be, we could all make a dif­fer­ence.”

Se­niors Au­tumn Clark, Kam­ryn Greene and Hunter Phillips took on what might have been the most ag­gres­sive project — test­ing the wa­ter qual­ity at all of the schools in Edge­combe County for chlo­rine and pH con­tent.

All of the schools, with the ex­cep­tion of Coke-Wim­berly, were in line with stan­dards. C-W’s chlo­rine level was 4.3 at one wa­ter foun­tain and 4.1 at an­other — against a tar­get of be­tween 2 and 3. The pH lev­els should have been be­tween 7.6 and 7.8, while C-W’s was close to 9 at both foun­tains.

The Wacky Wall­abies, as they named them­selves, said they hoped to get their re­sults be­fore the Edge­combe County School Board. Smith as­sured them it would make it.

Smith told the group he was proud of their ef­forts and what they had learned as they worked to­gether and con­tin­ued to progress in their ed­u­ca­tion.

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