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2018 Ambassador: Kayla Tran

2018 Ambassador: Kayla Tran

Kayla Tran
Renton High School
Renton, WA

FUTURE CAREER GOALS

I wish to study microbiology and incorporate what I’ve learned about systems biology in future research opportunities, especially in the global health field.

DESCRIPTION OF SCHOOL

My PF1010 project will be implemented at Renton High School, where there is a population of 1370 students. Within those students there is an 89% minority enrollment, and 68% are economically disadvantaged. What these numbers do not tell is that the community at Renton High School is a place where all cultures are celebrated. Aside from available AP courses, Renton is an IB school, where the curriculum not only pushes students to meet global standards, but they are also immersed in international mindedness.

WHAT ORIGINALLY MADE YOU INTERESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

A past ambassador, Wilson Ta, participated in this project and gave me a brief summary of the kind of things he learned and did at PF1010. I was immediately interested because at the time, I had just stepped foot into the subject of environmental science and loved it. This opportunity meant that I would be able to dive deeper into environmental science and get the experience I could not get in class. The idea that I could eventually bring the experience I get from this program back to my community in the form of a project meant I could make a huge difference, so I immediately applied to PF1010.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BRING THIS PROJECT TO YOUR SCHOOL/COMMUNITY? WHAT ARE YOUR OBJECTIVES?

The fact that environmental conservation and sustainability practices are not as progressive as they are in Seattle has been something I’ve been able to see because of the amount of time I spend in both Renton and Seattle. The importance of sustainable practices are usually unknown, but also disvalued too. I know this because at my school, nothing was done by school administrators when we went through a year without recycling services, and when fellow students would trash the school with their lunches. Water bottles are used everywhere, and trash sorting would not be something people would take care in doing either. I think that my integration of PF1010 into my community has the potential to raise awareness towards many aspects of environmental conservation which could then raise interest in the topic of sustainable farming and food security.

WHAT CURRENT CLUBS ARE AVAILABLE? WHAT TEACHERS / COURSES COULD INTEGRATE THIS PROJECT?

Currently, we have a gardening club, and a Green Team that would be willing to integrate this project. The advisors of these clubs and our IB environmental science and biology teachers could also integrate this project in their classrooms.

WHAT IS YOUR PLAN?

With the opportunity to incorporate my PF1010 experience into my community, I plan to work with a few of my peers to help Renton High School get certified as a WA Green School. My responsibility in this project will be to incorporate systems biology and sustainable agriculture activities in the IB Environmental Science classes. Renton students will learn about the crises of food security, consequences of traditional farming, and be able to experience sustainable farming and its benefits with their own classroom aquaponic system. I will also work with my environmental science teacher to raise money and establish a Renton High School Greenhouse. My goal is to give students the opportunity to use what they learn in the classroom about agricultural practices and grow food to give back to our community. In the process of earning a reputation for sustainability at Renton High School, this will encourage more schools from nearby communities to join us too. The big picture for this project is to promote eco-friendly living at school and educate the new and younger generations that with an increasingly larger global population, food security has to start with sustainable farm practices.

 

WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU THINK YOU WILL FACE IN GETTING THIS PROJECT SET UP?

Sharing with others the importance of this project will take a lot of communication skills. This is the most important part of the project because we need them to financially support the purchase of the aquaponic system and to build the greenhouse. Arranging times in which we could meet students during school for lessons on farm sustainability will also be difficult. Finally, since it’s my senior year of high school, finding balance between this project, college applications, and extracurriculars will definitely be tough too.

 

RESOURCES BY KAYLA

– Sustainability: It starts at school – Blog Post