Environmental Education Initiative 2020 Annual Environmental Summit
Every year in April, the City of Dallas Environmental Education Initiative (EEI) holds the Annual Environmental Summit on water conservation. During this event, teams of Dallas High School students present their research proposals to University of North Texas (UNT) professors and staff members with the City of Dallas. The top three proposals are awarded funds to develop their research with the support and supervision of their teachers. The first-place winner is also guaranteed a spot in EEI’s Paid High School Summer Internship, where students participate in a 5-week research opportunity with UNT and Dallas Water Utilities. Students awarded funding at the previous year’s summit also have the opportunity to present their research results.
Participation in the summit provides students with a rich learning experience on perseverance, hard work, constructive critique, and most of all, a sense of empowerment that they can change the world through science. This year, EEI decided to carry on with the 7th Annual Summit despite circumstances surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19 by going virtual. Students submitted online posters and video presentations to replace in-person discussion of their research proposals. Mentors provided feedback to students using a rubric and comment form.
This year, Rohan Cherukuru, a student from the Science and Engineering Magnet School (SEM) was awarded first place for his research on the effectiveness of activated carbon in purifying water (research title: “Activated Carbon for Water Purification”). Noora Haghar, Aileen Garcia and Leslie Hernandez from Emmet Conrad High School won second place for developing a basketball recycling challenge to encourage plastic bottle recycling in their school (research title: “Basketball Recycling”). Brianna Jimenez from the Science and Engineering Magnet School (SEM) won third place for her project on the use of solar energy in food preparation and water sterilization in Bangladesh (project title: “Renewable Cooking for Reduction of Thermal Pollution and Water Conservation”).
Congratulations to the winners!