Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ship2Shore Has Landed!

The Algalita Marine Reasearch Foundation and 5 Gyres' Ship2Shore trip returned from traveling 2,300 miles to the center of the South Pacific Gyre on April 11th! The research team collected trawl samples and conducted experiments in the ocean and on the shores of Easter Island delivering shocking results. Congratulations to all the members on the Ship2Shore team!

Big Money Coming

WOOOOO! A month ago Benjamin Kay was entered into the Wyland Foundation's Earth Month Teacher Hero Award by the I House Principle Ms. Semik. Kay, along with 30 other teachers, were recognized for being outstanding environmental teachers and activists. On April 14th, Mr Kay was selected from those 30 teachers to win the grand prize of $5,000 and be on CBS news! This money will be going towards building our Electric vehicle and will buy a lot of parts. Lots of thanks to the Wyland Foundation, Toyota, AES, and CBS/KCAL.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Electric Car Update

The struggle to convert an old Volkswagen Bug into a fully electric car has been a long and hard one. On tuesday, Team Marine members searched for certain types of 96-volt lithium ion batteries for our electric car conversion. Yesterday, our Eco-Engineer, Patricio Guerrero, was emailed by the manager of a battery manufacturing company telling us that they could custom build batteries to fit the necessary dimensions for the back seat of our Volkswagen Bug!

VW-1339-c Throw-out Bearing with clips!

As if this wasn't good enough news, Patricio also purchased new throw-out bearings. The throw-out bearings are important because they allow the engine to maintain momentum without consuming energy while the clutch is engaged. These small feats bring us a few steps closer to making our dream of a fully electric Bug a reality.

SAMOHI Water Fountain Audit

Hello fellow eco-beasts,

Team Marine has been busy for the last couple of weeks doing a Santa Monica High School water fountain audit. We have been asked to go around the Santa Monica High School campus to check all of the water fountains and describe the condition of each fountain. We were asked by the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District to do this in order to get an improvement in our water fountain systems. There are approximately 62 water fountains all over the Samohi campus; we found that 43.7% are functioning normally, 15.6% are shooting out water, 15.6% of them are dying, and a total of 25% are out of order and completely dead. A total of 65% of them were functioning. We went around school and mapped out all the fountains and collected that data into a master map of our entire school. The data will be given to the district soon.

E-Waste Drive

Team Marine recently assisted Science teacher Martha Chacon and her students in their electronic recycling drive (E-Waste Drive) from March1st- 15th. Together as a school we collected a variety of over 233 electronic devices. Some of the devices collected were from remotes, lamps, and ink cartridges to digital cameras, batteries, power drills and blow dryers. the number one item collected were mobile cell phones-74 to be exact. Along with some of Ms. Chacons students, Team Marine successfully loaded all the electronics onto a truck and send it off to California Recycles be properly disposed of. Big thanks to Martha Chacon!

Team Marine members Tatiana and Patricio loading old computers onto the California Recycles
Team Marine sorting out all the electronics.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ACE Leadership Training

Team Marine was invited to go to a leadership training brought to us by one of our amazing eco-partners, Alliance for Climate Education (ACE). Team Marine members Raquel, Flavia and team advisor Benjamin Kay were present at this event on Saturday April 2nd 2011. This leadership training was at the TreePeople headquarters. Flavia and Raquel learned valuable lessons such as preplanning agendas to make meetings more productive, and valuable tips on how to be better communicated within the team. We would love to thank Kristina Von Hoffman, Sophie Korn and the rest of ACE for having us participate in this wonderful event.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Plastics R 4 Ever!

Team Marine, with the assistance from Dr. Marcus Erikson of 5 Gyres, helped build three boats made out of thrown away plastic materials that were presented at Algalita's Plastics are Forever Youth Training and Summit :

The Cola Canoe:

Made out of old two liter soda bottles recovered from donations and SAMOHI's own dumpsters.

"Rethink" Paddle Board:

The "Rethink" paddle board is the epitome of re-using old products to create something beautiful. The board itself was built out of five separate broken surfboards molded into one stand-up paddle surfboard. Every single lighter decorated on the board was given to Marcus by the Midway Atoll Institute. Plastic lighters are one of the many major pollutants of our waters and the lighters seen here were recovered from the sea along with the stomachs of albatross and other animals.

The Straw Boat:
The Straw Boat was made out of about 8,000 plastic straws that Team Marine had been saving over a few years. The boat was designed by our very own eco-engineer, Patricio G, and used bundles of plastic straws glued between bottle caps to maintain buoyancy.

These three boats were unveiled at the Plastics R 4 Ever youth summit and were launched out into the water in Long Beach. Lots of thanks to Marcus Erikson and the Algalita foundation.