Two Youth in Peel Starting an "Ecolution"
Congratulations to 'Team Ecolution', the winners of PEYA's first Design Challenge!
On January 21-24, 2022, the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance hosted our very first Environmental Design Challenge, inviting youth in Peel from grades 7-12 to participate in proposing ideas that could promote environmental prosperity in the region.
The event, called Breaking Climate Barriers – Design Challenge, took place virtually, over two days. On Day 1, teams of youth were introduced to a broad case study at hand, centering around the question, how can the Peel community preserve biodiversity in an increasingly urbanized cityscape? Teams were then to select one threatened species in Peel and pitch a conservation project design that would support the preservation of this species. Teams had the weekend to develop their project idea and on Day 2 of the event, we heard from several bright and motivated groups, presenting innovative ideas that highlighted just how dedicated today’s youth are in creating a sustainable future.
Amongst the thoughtful and creative proposals, one team stood out and were named the First Place winners of Breaking Climate Barriers. Meet Team Ecolution! Saanvi Mogla (Grade 10), and Ajayveer Singh Bedi (Grade 10) teamed up to design a thorough project plan that implements greenhouses on school property to preserve that False Hop Sedge, a threatened plant species in Peel, while also promoting environmental education in schools.
Team Ecolution shares that through their research, they discovered the False Hop Sedge prefers damp climates with an abundance of sunlight, which sparked the idea of a greenhouse plan. Saanvi and Ajayveer explain that “To keep the greenhouse’s climate damp and simultaneously water the plants at the right time, we proposed the idea for a clean energy system. This system runs on electrons harvested from decomposition of plants, creating a renewable source of energy. By providing this environment, we would save this species and increase Peel’s overall biodiversity by attracting various insects, plants, and animals.”
The students also wanted to ensure that their proposal could promote social and community involvement. Team Ecolution shares, “Our system could power over 1,800 COVID-19 ventilators with less than 100 False Hop Sedges, and thus ease the load on healthcare workers, patients, and help strengthen our supply chain. We [also] decided to form partnerships with retirement homes and schools to engage children and the elderly with our “mini-ecosystem”. Doing this would be an initiative for people to get involved in our community, and improve people’s wellbeing simultaneously. Our Ecolution to save the False Hop Sedge is designed to benefit our society; because as the great American novelist Wendell Berry said, “the Earth is what we all have in common.”’
A huge congratulations to Team Ecolution for their impactful contribution to PEYA’s program, and further to our community! Another big thanks to all the youth teams who participated in Breaking Climate Barriers, and the PEYA team continues to encourage you to keep spreading your positive ideas!