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LAHS students offer free environmental sustainability course

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Courtesy of Maddy Randall
Los Altos High Green Team club members developed a virtual environmental sustainability course.

Three Los Altos High School freshmen have joined forces to create a free virtual course to teach others in the community about environmental sustainability.

Created by Los Altos High Green Team club members Sadie Gracon, Maddy Randall and Mallory Weisfeld, the four-week course – titled E2: Environmental Education – features an array of interactive activities.

Set to begin March 1, the course offers one-hour asynchronous sessions Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The students plan to teach participants how to be more sustainable in their lives through hands-on activities, articles and videos and ultimately a reflection at the end of the week. The classes are operated through Google Classroom and Slack platforms.

Registration closes Feb. 22. The program is open to all ages.

Sustainable goals

Weisfeld shared the inspiration behind the project.

“COVID, and the current events of the world, have everyone feeling a little bit out of control,” she said. “We thought this project was a good way to bring back a little bit of control into people’s lives by controlling how they lived a little bit to make it a little more green, healthy and sustainable.”

Gracon noted that they wanted to emphasize the importance of environmental sustainability by personalizing the experience.

“We don’t just give them the facts, but we also give them a way that they can make their life better,” she said. “We think that will be really different from other programs. It’ll make it seem more real to them.”

Weisfeld said their goal was to “make things as attainable as possible.” She said that to ensure participants continue making environmentally conscious life choices after the program, her team will provide a list of local eco-friendly businesses to shop at.

Their project is funded by Silicon Valley Clean Energy, a locally controlled public agency seeking to provide clean energy to area residents. SVCE’s Education Fund program sponsors E2: Environmental Education as well as other student-led initiatives striving to fight climate change.

“We’re really excited to see a project like this that proposes designing an interesting, creative, interactive and fun course for members of all ages,” said Vanessa Shin, SVCE’s community outreach fellow. “We feel that students are particularly in a really great position to be able to educate and share their thoughts and what they’ve learned with their peers, family members and neighbors.”

SVCE communications manager Pamela Leonard added that while their organization is mainly focused on promoting clean energy use and reducing fossil fuels, the girls’ project aimed to cover a “broad array of topics.”

Not only do the girls want to inform participants on the climate crisis, they also hope that through the program they will be able to create a community.

“I think one of our main goals was providing participants with a sustainable community that they can be a part of, that they may not have had access to otherwise,” Randall said.

Although the course is currently a one-time event, the girls hope to have more.

“I feel like it’d be a really fun way to, again, engage the community, and just a really fun project in general to continue to do,” Weisfeld said.

For more information, visit tinyurl.com/yyjc3wu3.

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