SYSTEM program teaches teens to go green
by Anna Sackel
Aug 07, 2013 | 1549 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Greenpoint YMCAs ExxonMobil SYSTEM is a summer program focused on teaching teens about engineering and technology with a focus on green infrastructure.

A collaboration with the Greenpoint YMCA and the NYU Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education, the environmental science program provides students a series of hands-on experiments in their community.

High school students learned about developing green technology and engineering designs on small-scale green rooftops over the course of the six-week program.

In discussion with his partner Kelvin Gonzalez about the design for their rooftop garden, student Thurston Kelly said,

“We want to make a garden as simplistic as possible that another program could replicate,” said Thurston Kelly in deep discussion with his partner Kelvin Gonzalez about the project. “By planting local plants and plants that prevent water runoff, the community will be improved.”

Led by NYU Environmental Conservation Education graduate student Tania Gioceochea, the program provides students with an understanding of the environment and the benefits of green roof installation.

The teens in the program were brought to the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, located at 44 Eagle St. in Greenpoint, to get a firsthand perspective of a green roof, as well as the edible plants growing on the rooftop.

The students also took a visit to Duke Farms near Somerville, New Jersey, to learn how to preserve the farm's environment. They also observed other green infrastructures such as an electric vehicle fleet, solar panels and composting toilets.

“The great thing about the SYSTEM program is that the kids don't just learn about green technology and engineering in a classroom,” said Tatiana Terzouli of the Greenpoint YMCA. “They also go out into the community to see how others have applied these methods and then are motivated to think, plan and create their own scale models.”

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