June 8, 2019
NY Sun Works – Rebirth our Earth
Blog post by NYSW Youth Press Team Member Silvie Leaf. Silvie is a 5th grade student at PS 333
On May 20th, 2019, at Symphony Space on Broadway and 95th in New York City, the NY Sun Works Youth Conference was held. At the conference, there were 25 students and five guest speakers talking about why it’s important for everyone to help save our planet.
The guest speakers included Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Gil Quininiones, the CEO of The New York Port Authority (NYPA), Tinia Pina, Re-Nuble Founder and CEO, and Kenji WIlliams of BELLA GAIA. Sunworks goal is to help youth discover sustainability science. The conference was held to educate students on how to use sustainable science. There was a press team to help understand the presenters’ projects deeper. As part of the press team, I interviewed two student groups and one guest speaker, Kenji Williams.
The first student group I interviewed was “PS 99 recycling rebels’’ who presented on recycling and terracycling markers and other materials. My partner, Georgina Barth and I first asked them how what they learned influenced their concern about the environment. They responded, “I learned about what’s going on around the world.” They continued saying they did not know how bad pollution was before they started their project. Next we asked them what was the most important message they wanted us to take away from their project. They said they wanted people to be more aware of what’s going on around us, like how little we recycle and the damage we’re doing to the earth by not recycling. They also wanted the crowd to take away how we can take action. We need to be aware little changes can help. Things may not seem like they’re hurting the environment, but sometimes they are.
The next group we interviewed was 6 sixth graders from PS 84. They made their own NFT System. We asked what their inspiration was for their project. They answered, “our surroundings.” They had found interesting things in their greenhouse. Then we asked why their project was important for the environment. They told us it didn’t use as much soil and it reuses water. It also sets a good example for others.
The last person we interviewed was Kenji Williams, who is a composer, creative engineer and producer for Bella Gaia, a NASA powered Earth from Space show. We asked him why is it important for students to be involved with the world’s changes. He answered, “Kids are the future generation.” “We need everyone’s help. Adults and kids.” Then we asked if he felt an urgency in his job, and if so, why. He answered that he did and felt lucky that as an artist he could deliver a message to help change the world for the better. Lastly, we asked what is his hope and dream for the world. He answered, “My hope and dream is for humans to balance with our world.”
At the end of the event, everyone had learned something. All sixteen schools that had gone to the event had left feeling empowered and connected by their common interest in science and need to help our world for the better. It is our generation who will have to protect our planet from climate change.