FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY: H2O
Mr. Ralph Bicknese presents the Green Schools Quest award to Mrs. Zareh and Grade 6 Student Council members
Forsyth School sixth graders tied for second place in the 2016/17 Green Schools Quest (GSQ) competition, Middle School Category, for their project: Water Efficiency, Education, and Conservation. On April 21, 2017, Ralph Bicknese presented the USGBC Green Schools Quest Award to sixth grade Student Council members and their teacher Susan Zareh at an all-School Earth Day Assembly.
This year, 47 St. Louis area schools participated in the Green Schools Quest. Forsyth has participated in the Green Schools Quest initiative, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) of Missouri, for the past 4 years and won 3 awards. Previous projects include: exploring solar energy – first place award in 2013/14; recycling in 2014/15; and expanded gardens in 2015/16, recognized with an honorable mention.
>> Watch the GSQ project video created by sixth graders and their teacher Joe Kaminski.
>> See slide show: Everyone Lives Downstream.
Mrs. Zareh thanks Mr. Jim Moler, our Green Schools Quest mentor for the water conservation project
Throughout the school year, sixth grade students took the lead through classroom activities, field trips, and presentations to learn about our water system. Lower School science teacher Christine Torlina and the Forsyth School Student Council (Grades 1-6) conducted a water audit, looking at the ways water is used across our campus and how we can conserve. This year’s Green Schools Quest mentor Jim Moler, a mechanical engineer with Jacobs Engineering, was instrumental in setting goals, planning, and teaching us about Forsyth’s direct water inputs and outputs.
5 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS ABOUT WATER
The sixth graders built a rain barrel that will provide water for gardens on campus
This year, Forsyth students focused on water education and conservation on our campus, and considered these 5 questions:
1. Where does Forsyth School’s water come from? From the Missouri River to the Howard Bend Water Treatment Plant
2. How does Forsyth School use water throughout the year? In a water audit, Student Council members and classes recorded all of the sinks, toilets, drinking fountains, etc. on campus. Sixth graders also analyzed St. Louis City water bills by each building on campus to also include things like irrigation use.
3. Where does the water from Forsyth School go after it leaves our campus? From the Bissell Point Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Mississippi River
4. What are ways that water moves and changes? The Water Cycle: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection.
5. What is our role in the water cycle? We must conserve water whenever possible by turning off water when brushing our teeth, running dishwashers only when they are full, and using rain barrels to water plants outside. We should also be careful about what goes down our drains and into our watersheds. How we build roads, buildings, and parking lots affects the runoff of water in our ecosystem.
Sixth graders painted the water inlet in front of Forsyth School on Wydown Blvd
Conservation. As a result of our GSQ, Forsyth School plans to conserve water by monitoring the irrigation system and to determine if savings can be seen through our water bills, as well as everyday water conservation efforts.
Rain Barrel. In October 2016, sixth graders built a rain barrel to water the gardens at the western edge of campus.
Everyone Lives Downstream. You might notice the newly painted water inlet in front of School, with the environmental reminder “Everyone Lives Downstream.” Roland Biehl with MO Sewer District made this experience possible for the sixth graders. Their creative imagery and message is a reminder to everyone who walks by our school to conserve and care for this valuable natural resource.