Skip to main content

Students Share Science Research and Message of Resilience in NY Sun Works’ 10th Annual Discovering Sustainability Science Conference

June 4, 2021

On May 19th, students from public schools around NYC came together virtually to share their research and celebrate their scientific accomplishments at NY Sun Works’ 10th Annual Discovering Sustainability Science Youth Conference.

The Conference, typically hosted at Symphony Space to accommodate the large audience, was presented in an online format again this year due to continuing restrictions imposed by COVID-19. The virtual setting didn’t tamp down the enthusiasm or energy of the students, all of whom showed impressive perseverance in shifting gears and continuing their months-long research projects from home under the remote guidance of their teachers.

“I was able to have them watch it in class today and they were really excited to see their work featured and a ton of kids want to volunteer in the greenhouse next year,” said Ginny Sullivan, a teacher at Edward R. Murrow High School. “So watching the youth conference really motivated them.”

The 37 student speakers, who ranged from 3rd to 12th grade, presented on an array of science and sustainability topics, studying how plants grow and what impacts plant growth and development over time. Students have been running investigations to study the effects of vitamin C, temperature, location, added nutrient levels, light, and caffeine on different types of plants ranging from beans to basil. Other students shared the many ways that they are taking action and making a positive impact on the environment from their schools and homes – from exploring innovative ways to combat rising carbon dioxide levels to designing their own hydroponic greenhouses for New York City.

The students were joined remotely by members of our Greenhouse Support Team and Education Director Hannah Jaris, with special guests Daniella Piper, Regional Manager in New York Power Authority’s Western Region and Chief Transformation Officer; and Danielle Corbin, teacher and author of the children’s book I Am A Mini Entrepreneur.

In what’s been a very difficult time for all, the voices of these students and guest speakers sent an inspiring message of resilience and determination.  As Daniella Piper summarized in her moving talk:

“You and only you are the author of your life. Every significant thing that will happen to you, good and bad, are individual chapters of the book that you are writing. Taken all together they become your unique story. Like every good book, your life will have unexpected twists and turns, but if you remain true to your values, you might be surprised at the ending. So keep your eye on the prize, continue to be a student for the rest of your life, seek knowledge and ask yourselves, how can I make my family, friends, or even a stranger’s life, just a little bit better everyday?”

You can view the entire conference here.


Join Our Mission to Grow Tomorrow’s Climate Leaders.