Sustainathon

Sustainathon Participants with Poster

Sustainathon Event Flyer (PDF)
Date: April 14, 2021
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 noon
Application Deadline: TBA

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Program Description

The objective of this event is to bring STCC students, local high school students, industry stakeholders, scientists, and community together to create awareness of current sustainability challenges and the importance of STEM innovative solutions for enhancing economic livelihood, workforce development, and quality of life of communities in Western Massachusetts. This event will coincide with world-wide efforts towards environmental sustainability and stewardship in celebration of Earth Day.

Program requirements are to be announced.

The program will use a combination of team-based research by students, direct interaction with professionals on the Earth Day, competition for innovative solutions, hands-on experience in environmental sustainability, and presentations. A conceptual representation is presented in the figure below.

A significant aspect of this Sustainathon is the Sustainability Challenge Competition, open to STCC students, high school students and our community. This competition will provide a platform for sustainability enthusiasts to execute their skills, creativity, and knowledge for the common good.

This competition moreover adds the engaging element of gaining community recognition and winning! A fun, Sustainability T-shirt design competition will also be announced to the participating teams.

A stipend of $500 per participating school will be allotted to the high school teacher to oversee the project that spans between January 2020 to April 2020. Additional professional guidance will be provided to these school’s teams by UMASS professor, Dr. Timothy Randhir. Community outreach will be made through partners such as Regreen Springfield and Greentown labs.

Each school team will choose from a list of STEM sustainability challenges provided for their project. They will be asked to follow the scientific method in their inquiry which will be provided to them as a criteria sheet. Each team will present a poster on Earth Day to an audience that will include a set of judges who will score each team. Top three high schools will be recognized with a trophy and all other participants will receive certificates and gifts during a final ceremony.

The poster presentation, demonstration stations, final ceremonies on April 16th between 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. will join with the worldwide efforts on environmental sustainability coinciding with Earth Day 2020. All in STCC students, local schools, citizens, and professionals will be invited for the Earth Day celebration at the STCC Campus.

The event aims to promote education in STEM sustainability and to explore sustainable practices by decision-makers and students in their own institutions, schools, homes, and community.

Some topics include reducing our carbon footprint, industrial ecology, urban ecology, water conservation, soil sciences, sustainable industrial design, life-cycle assessment, recycling education, renewable energy, ecological economics, adaptation to climate change, applications of biomimicry, urban design of natural spaces, innovative technologies, biosystems engineering, systems analysis, and mathematical modeling.

  1. Water Sustainability 
  2. Sustainable Agriculture
  3. Biofuels and renewable energy
  4. Urban Forestry
  5. Global Sustainability
  6. Food Security
  7. Green entrepreneurship
  8. Sustainable design
  9. Climate adaptation 
  10. Sustainable development
  11. Carbon Footprint
  12. Regreening Springfield
  13. Waste Management
  14. Recycle
  15. Community Gardens
  16. UMass- Natural Resources
  17. USDA- United States Department of Agriculture
  18. USFWS- US Fish and Wildlife Service
  19. DCR-Department of Conservation and Recreation
  20. US Army- Citizen Earth Watch
  21. CET- Center for EcoTechnology
  22. EOEEA- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  23. Springfield Water and Sewage commission
  24. Hitchcock Center
  25. Cooler Communities
  26. Hitchcock Center

The goal of this Sustainathon event at STCC is to provide our students, local high school seniors, and community a broad understanding of Environmental Sustainability. Through a series of hands-on workshops and competition students will be introduced to sustainability concepts and to apply this knowledge to make environmentally sound decisions.

 Sustainathon competition involves conducting research using existing data or observations, and presentation of these results as a poster to celebrate Earth Day 2020 at Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield, MA. The topic should be in the area of sustainability in topics related to applications in environment, engineering, and technology using STEM concepts. A list of potential topics is provided. Students in grades 9 to 12 are eligible to compete. Each team will consist of 6-8 students and will be guided by at least one faculty mentor per team. Registration is required for all teams. 

A stipend of $ 500 will be offered to the science teacher mentor of each school participating team. All poster supplies requested by the mentors will be provided during the information session. Each presentation of the poster will be evaluated by a team of neutral qualified judges. A short information workshop for mentors guiding the competing teams will be organized in March (TBD) with UMASS and STCC professors at the STCC campus. This workshop will provide additional information and guidance to the Mentors in developing their projects.

All projects will be assessed by judges on a 100-point scale.

  1. Quality of research work: Topic chosen, Planning and organization of research material, Use of past literature, Solutions suggested. (20%)
  2. Objectives, Hypotheses specified, Research methods used, Experiments/ survey used, Analysis tools, Interpretation of data, Inference of results. (20%)
  3. Poster quality: Organization of the poster, Graphics used, Writing, Poster style, and creativity. (20%)
  4. Presentation quality:  Clarity of presentation, Answers to audience questions, Team effort in presenting, Use of other visuals. (20%)
  5. Overall performance: Innovative concepts used, Team effort, Potential for application of the results in industry, Individual and group performance, and STEM-based methods used. (20%)
  • Engineering design
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Biotechnology
  • Local foods and agriculture
  • Composting and organic farming
  • Design for energy efficiency
  • Renewable energy for residential and industrial use
  • Reducing material use or waste
  • Reusing of materials or waste
  • Recycling of waste
  • Plastics and nano-particles in the environment
  • Protecting water quality
  • Stormwater assessment and management
  • Protecting biodiversity
  • Watershed protection
  • Fuel-efficient transportation
  • Sustainable fisheries
  • Water conservation
  • Sustainable construction and building systems
  • Indoor air quality
  • Climate change impacts
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Bioremediation
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Urban ecosystems
  • Landscape architecture and design
  • Water treatment technology
  • Wetland Assessment and restoration
  • Water supply management and treatment
  • Environmental justice
  • Sustainable development
  • Citizen science
  • Biomedical technology
  • Public health for all
  • Data science for sustainability
  • Sustainable Management strategies
  • Resilient Systems
  • Green Electronics
  • Energy and Extractives
  • Food security and Food Justice
  • Conflict minerals and responsible sourcing
  • Plastics
  • Ethics and Governance
  • Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Business
  • Walking the talk: Acting local
  • Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights
  • Transition to a Low-Carbon World
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Laser Technology and Sustainability
  • Role of Photonics in Global Sustainability
  • Robots for a sustainable future
  • Math for Sustainability

Example poster by Angus Kanelong      Example Poster by Argeo AlfaroneExample Poster by Cassie Fedora     Example Poster by Christopher RodriguezExample Poster by Dhiren Biswa   Example Poster by Moses Gonzalez

about 100 students in bleachers

Student Success and Testimonials

The high energy and the excitement in this event were amazing! The presentations were educational and interactive, and I now understand the importance of Sustainability Sustainathon Participant