DUBOIS – The Penn State DuBois Green Team and Wildlife Society, a campus student organization, invited Jeff Tech students to their fourth annual Earth Day Celebration at Penn State DuBois held on April 19.
The event was open to the public and the campus community. It featured more than 20 exhibits from local organizations and government agencies.
Jeff Tech students prepared the Earth Day display and made banners to highlight some of their sustainability activities.
This project integrates the curriculum content of the science classes with other Career and Technical Education programs at the school.
Jeff Tech students participate in gardening and the food cycle as one of their sustainable activities. The students compost their food scraps from the Jeff Tech cafeteria.
Further, 2,300 pounds of food scraps were collected in the 2016-17 school year along with 500 pounds of shredded newspaper used as cover.
The food scraps are placed daily into five large bins. Red wiggler worms speed up the breakdown of the food. The harvested total of vermi-compost was nearly 1,000 pounds that was put on the school garden as fertilizer.
Some seeds are saved from the previous year, and plants are started in the early spring in the school greenhouse. After the growing season in the fall, the vegetables are harvested and processed by the culinary arts students who learn canning and other preservation skills.
The building trade students built the wooden raised beds for the garden and treated the wood of the beds with used fryer oil to preserve and protect it. These CTE students also put up the garden fence, assembled the greenhouse and are responsible for the general maintenance of the garden.
Jeff Tech students also participate in recycling. Items recycled at Jeff Tech by science class students are office paper, newspaper, magazines, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, tin cans, ink cartridges, Christmas lights and cards and food scraps.
The program was invaluable experience for the students and allowed other participants to see what Jeff Tech does to promote greener living and embrace the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle.