Freshman invent for the environment |

Freshman invent for the environment

Cindy Ramunno
Preston Utley/Vail DailyEagle Valley freshmen, from right to left, Kyle Lundberg, 15, Jared Thompson, 15, and Jaime Fernandez, 14, hold up their projects which explain their inventions to save the earth.

GYPSUM – Freshmen at Eagle Valley High School are just about to finish their first year at the school. Some may have thought this trimester was going to be more laid-back and easier than the first two. Not so. In the geography and freshman seminar classes, students are learning about the environment. “We have discussed conservation, pollution, resources and recycling,” said teacher Ron Beard who, along with Eric Mandeville, teach the courses. The students’ final projects were inventions or ideas aimed at “saving the world” – by conserving resources, preventing pollution or protecting the environment. Many of the ideas had to do with filtering salt water for drinking, irrigation and firefighters. Student Nick Brink built a model that takes in sea water and is heated by solar panels until the water evaporates to the ceiling. It is then collected in gutters in the ceiling and deposited in tanks or pipes connected to the nearest water treatment facility.

Emanuel Pilas and Nick Lehr drew up a plan to use liquid nitrogen to freeze trash. The frozen garbage is then smashed into tiny pieces, thus taking up far less space in a landfill.Karlee Solawetz’ idea was to line landfills with rubber or cement to prevent contaminants from polluting groundwater. Kapena Woolsey and Ivan Torres invented biodegradable Mardi Gras beads from biodegradable toilet paper and sugar.Other student inventions included biodegradable golf balls, exhaust filters for cars and powering cars by sea water. Another idea was a machine that continuously runs over carpet to attract positively charged ions or static electricity. This unit was designed to produce enough electrical charge to run a TV, radio or clock.Fabian Rodriguez, who built a saltwater filtration system, said “It was fun to see all the creative ideas. I think it opened a lot of people’s eyes to what is being done to harm our environment, and that we have the power to change things for the better.”

Kelsey Elwood’s idea was to use less paper by giving every student a laptop computer. “Why do we continue to purchase textbooks, and continue to give paper tests and handouts when we could be a virtually paperless school district?” said Elwood. Elwood’s presentation showed trees are not being planted or grown as fast as they are being turned into paper goods. Elwood added she does not like the term ‘tree hugger’ because it is used so negatively and associated with extremists. “There should be nothing wrong with someone wanting to protect our trees, nature’s air filter,” Elwood said.

After discussions, the students agreed people are better off preventing pollution rather than cleaning it up. They also agreed that recycling, reusing and reducing are good alternatives, and that alternative fuel sources must be found and implemented.”Some great ideas were discussed and presented,” Beard said. Vail, Colorado

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