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Youth Go Green

by Melanie Stevenson

At Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School in Tennessee, a group of students decided to take Do Something’s “Increase Your Green” challenge, where students across the nation competed to see who could make their school most environmentally friendly.

These students initiated their school's first ever recycling program, collecting glass, paper, aluminum, ink cartridges, and cell phones. In 8 weeks, they collected 30,000 bottles and cans, and 350 lbs of paper! Students made daily announcements as reminders to switch off lights, computers, and televisions in each classroom.

They launched a school wide awareness campaign and involved nearly 1,600 students in projects like painting recycling bins green and participating in "Green Tuesdays", by wearing green to school one day each week.

These MLK students didn’t stop when the competition ended, but rather they looked towards the future. They've set up a matching funds effort with student government to fund a $3,000 Solar Panel Array for the school. The solar panels will be built partly from recycled solar cells and assembled by the Digital Electronics Class!

They've integrated a student designed mini-course on the relevance of solar energy into their AP Sciences, Engineering, and Design courses.

The students won the Do Something’s “Increase Your Green” competition and received a $1,500 grant to continue their efforts at their school.

Click here to read more Energy and the Environment stories.

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