7th Graders Celebrate Earth Day at CJ

More than 200 area 7th graders from six elementary schools celebrated Earth Day (observed April 22) and 2013 National Environmental Education Week at Chaminade Julienne.

On April 17, CJ student leaders known as Eagle Ambassadors hosted an Environmental Science and Energy Fair—sponsored by the CJ STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) program—from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the Student Conditioning Center. Students and science teachers from Catholic grade schools Bishop Leibold, Mother Brunner, St. Albert, St. Christopher, St. Luke and St. Peter began the day together with a special prayer before breaking out into small groups. Guests then explored today’s most popular sources of renewable and nonrenewable energy, and were treated to a pizza lunch before heading back to school.

“If kids understand energy and learn how its production can affect our environment, they’ll realize the importance of efficiently using resources such as electricity,” said Jeff Teuscher of Dayton Power & Light. He brought along DP&L’s electric Chevrolet Equinox to help illuminate the morning’s lessons on energy.

“Compared to gasoline, electricity costs about one-third less to generate the same amount of power in an electric car,” Teuscher said. The braking systems of electric cars are designed to harness and regenerate electricity for the battery, he told students.

Other activities at the fair included festival-style, energy-themed games provided by the Ohio Energy Project and a hands-on experiment related to the class of 2013’s Social Justice Project. As part of class-wide religion service requirements, all seniors must participate in a service project that impacts the global community. This year, students decided to get behind the Sisters of Notre Dame’s photovoltaic and clean water project, whereby Procter & Gamble Pur water filtration packets are being distributed worldwide in conjunction with the Cincinnati-based company’s Children's Safe Drinking Water program. Students stirred in the packet's contents and watched as murky brown water turned clear in about five minutes.

The inspiration for Eagle Ambassadors to teach energy efficiency to elementary students came in late February after a handful of CJ students attended DP&L’s annual spring Energy Fair hosted at the University of Dayton.