Hawk STEM Team Takes Recycling to a New High with Low-Carbon Garden Project

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By Janice Eck

Pictures by Janice Eck

(Victorville)– If recycling electronics was as easy as recycling plastics, glass, aluminum and paper for trash day, our garages and closets would have much more space. People tend to hold on to old printers, computers, and televisions because they know these items shouldn’t go in the trash. Silverado High School’s Hawk STEM Team gave the High Desert community a chance to get rid of their old electronics on October 11 during their E-Waste Campaign at Silverado High School (SHS). Hawk STEM team’s mission was to raise $1,000.00 for their Low-Carbon Recycle Garden Project.

The E-Waste Campaign was a great opportunity with a meaningful purpose for residents and businesses to get rid of electronics that had been outdated and replaced. There was a long list of items that people were able to bring to the e-recycling event. Not only were printers, computers and televisions welcome, but everything from servers, wires, switches, routers, fax machines, video games and consoles, and printer cartridges were also welcome. All proceeds were to benefit the Hawk STEM Team’s garden project.

The STEM team, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is a club at SHS whose goal is to educate and promote recycling and green campuses. The STEM team’s president, Kaylee Martinez, spoke with High Desert Daily regarding the purpose of the e-waste campaign, “We’re opening up our school to the public so they can donate their electronic waste. All the funds that we make today will go toward our recycling garden for our school. It’s a low-carbon sink. We had the pleasure of going to a conference and seeing how bad our air quality is in California. This will help promote getting a lot of carbon waste in our air to go away and will also attract some song birds to our school to make it a more beautiful place.”

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With the new school year, the STEM team brainstormed various ideas for this year’s projects. The result: A low-carbon recycle garden. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a major pollutant. Anything that puts CO2 in the air is considered a carbon source. The purpose of the garden is to be a carbon sink where more carbon is absorbed than released. Drought-resistant trees and plants will be planted; planters and benches will be created from recycled materials. The club hopes to create a natural setting in the concrete and metal laden campus where not only SHS staff and students can enjoy their own mini-nature resource, but will also be used to promote environmental awareness to the entire community. Barbara Marrs, Hawk STEM Club Advisor, tells High Desert Daily, “We can give schools tours, saying, ‘Look at what we did. You could do this too.’ We could explain how the planters and anything new that we put in there is made of materials that didn’t put carbon back into the atmosphere. A garden that has sculptures out of recycled materials and provides the options for ongoing projects like composting for the whole school and the whole community.”

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The Hawk STEM Team is doing their part to help minimize as much damage to the earth’s environment as they can. They understand the world they’re living in is their responsibility and hope to encourage the entire community to do their part. The Low-Carbon Recycle Garden Project is just the beginning of what the Hawk STEM Team hopes to accomplish.

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