On February 26th, three students from Deep Creek Middle School departed for Denver, Colorado to attend the National Green Schools Conference where they had been invited to present their work to students from all over the United States. Eighth graders Keniesha Pinder (Tarpum Bay), Shanice Symonette (Rock Sound) and seventh grader Zachary Carey (Tarpum Bay) delivered poster presentations on “How to Create a Recycling System at your School” and “Middle School Aquaponics.” The audience was students and teachers who were interested in creating sustainable changes in their communities. “People were really excited about our ideas, a lot of people said they wanted to try aquaponics at their schools”, explains Shanice.
DCMS students also had the opportunity to attend workshops given by student and professionals that pertained to environmental topics that interested them. “I’ve learned all kinds of things that I want to do at DCMS and in my own settlement” says Zachary Carey of Tarpum Bay. Some of the more impressive workshops had students dreaming up ideas to use to improve their school and island. Some of these ideas include: developing an expanded garden system at school to provide students with healthy snacks, researching how to use bio-fuels at school, exploring how to eliminate single use plastic bags on Eleuthera, and holding another youth summit to bring together like minded, motivated young people to collaborate and celebrate the planet. “Our students had an incredible opportunity to network with young people who are doing incredible work and are excited about created change in their communities; they are coming home very enthused and empowered” explains Odette Pretty, the DCMS Eco-club Advisor.
To top it all off, DCMS students had the opportunity to forge new friendships with young activists from around the world – friendships that will hopefully continue to motivate and encourage them as they continue their growth as environmental stewards.