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Green Academy constructs a solar-powered suitcase for Kenya

By: Tiffany Bui

 

 

This solar powered suitcase is capable of plugging in anything with an outlet, along with a light bulb placement. All this solar energy use for charging is from the sun, collecting volts.

 

Kenya has one of the largest population of refugees in the world with 10,000 people. The majority of these refugees lack access to electricity. Currently, the ALHS class of  2019 Green Academy is utilizing solar energy to help address this lack of power. The Green Academy is accomplishing with a hands-on physics experiment: constructing 8 solar-powered suitcases for Kenya’s refugee camps.

“I think it's helpful that we're taking advantage of what we're learning in school to help those who need energy,” explained Sophia De Las Garzas Sanchez, one of the students from The Green Academy.

The suitcase will serve as a source of electricity. The solar-powered suitcase will also include electric batteries to hold generated energy. Some items that can be charged by the suitcase include cell phones, fans, laptops, and e-readers. When this device arrives in Kenya, all the recipients will have to do is point their solar panel towards the sun and it will be ready to go. The students in Kenya have natural light in schools during the day, but are unable to complete homework in the dark. Many students have to find places to finish their homework, like gas stations, just for light. However, with the solar powered suitcase, finding light will no longer be an issue .

“The students’ goal is to learn how to build a suitcase, which involves teamwork, following directions, and understanding how solar energy works,” said Valerie Ziegler, the Green Academy teacher.

The solar-powered suitcases will be the size and weight of a standard suitcase. It will feature flat sheet solar panels which can be adjusted to face the sun and will utilize a transformer to convert the generated power into 12-volt outputs.  The suitcase will include two lamps as well as USB outlets.

While the students complete this project they apply their past knowledge in Conceptual Physics. The students have to understand the concepts of renewable energy, solar energy, how solar panels work, currents, voltages, amperages, and AC/DC currents.  

The Green Academy recently went on a field trip to the Sunset Reservoir to learn how solar panels work and how they are used to provide energy. Last year in Physics, the students also learned about volts, watts, amperage, and currents. They apply these theories in their 11th grade engineering class to build the suitcase.  

“One of our biggest challenges is that in order to send these suitcase for the refugees in Kenya, we have to first raise 2,000 dollars,” said Ziegler.

Coming up with fundraising ideas has been a challenge. The Green Academy class has been working on different grant proposals and fundraising events. To raise some revenue for their enterprise, the Green Academy class held a fundraiser with Blaze Pizza. However, they still have a long way to go until they reach their goal. Also, The Green Academy has partnered with PG&E who supplies materials for their suitcases. This partnership helps keep the cost of building the suitcase down. Our school also keeps a spare solar powered suitcase in case a blackout occurs.

Teachers’ November UESF meeting sparks tempers

By: Benjamin Sheh

 


A contingent of teachers attended the November 8th meeting demanding a 20% raise instead of the agreed upon 16%.

 

 

Teachers momentarily broke out into shouting matches with UESF (the United Educators of San Francisco, a union for teachers) at the November 12th general informative meeting, originally a strike vote. For a moment, yells of “Strike!” drowned out all other voices in the auditorium.

Three days before teachers were to decide with a vote whether they would go on strike to protest wages and benefits or not, the union made an agreement with SFUSD that teachers would receive a 16% pay raise over three years, while retaining sabbaticals and AP prep periods—among other conditions.

However, many educators express dissatisfaction with this tentative agreement. According to Lincoln math teacher Mark Mosheim, “calling the raise 16% is kind of fudging the numbers.” Other teachers such as Daniel Ruelas and Samantha Sherman made similar remarks.

Indeed, the 16%  is split up into three sections: a base 11% raise over three years, a 2% one-time bonus upon ratification, and 3% in bonuses if a new parcel tax is passed. Teachers felt deceived by UESF’s decision to cancel the strike vote and come to this tentative agreement, which they call “the highest compensation package among California school districts to date” when in reality, the 11% base raise over three years is lower than the last bargaining session three years ago. While the union claims that the parcel tax has been polled and predicted to pass, it’s still only a possibility and not a guaranteed benefit which some feel hesitant about.

In particular, UESF representative Arisa Hiroi is concerned about the lack of support the contract provides to newer teachers. As a relatively new teacher herself, she comments, “I could go to another school district district—get paid more, save for a house. But I like it here.”

Ruelas, also a new teacher, agrees with this saying, “Any raise is good for new teachers, but it doesn’t help them stay in San Francisco.”

Before the tentative agreement is ratified, however, teachers must vote to support it. As of the time of writing, the vote has not yet been processed. Teachers, paraeducators, and substitutes alike will see in the near future whether or not their efforts were successful.

 

Green Academy participates in Earth Day every day

By: Yen Morales

 


 

 

 

Why not make earth day everyday? This is what our district thought of when we celebrated Earth Day in San Francisco last year. This event brings all schools together to appreciate Earth everyday. How this works? Teachers, staff, students, and family members sign up to begin earning points for their school.
        You earn points by doing daily activities that shows you, or your school care about the environments. This includes pictures of trash cans and recycling bins in a classroom, your school doing a beach clean up, or also you just doing things that keep the environment healthy.                                                                                                                                                                                            Then you report what you’re doing by taking a picture or a video of something green you and your community do, and compete with other schools.
      Green academy makes it a goal to be more self aware of our Earth. The challenge teaches us how to appreciate the great things Earth does for us. More kids and schools have been signing up everyday to celebrate and incorporate better environment choices.
     Schools like abraham lincoln high school have started making big changes. We now have recycling, compost, and waste bins all over the school and it seems to be working. Jaqueline Tijerino, a student here at Lincoln high school that is also in Green Academy says,  “We even have a garden and we plant trees and plants, we built a new compost system to show the community what our purpose is and what our school teaches us.”  This is a great challenge because at the end of the day, students get prizes and rewards for celebrating Earth.
     Although this is a great challenge, it brings out a big question as well, why should people get bribed with rewards to make good choices? Getting people to  cooperate can be very tricky, many big movements or some internships use this method to lure people into their cause, which is not bad if the cause is helpful to the community like this cause. It would just be nice if everyone thought more about Earth by nature, not because they get prices.
If we each take responsibility in shifting our own behavior, we can trigger the type of change that is necessary to achieve sustainability for our race or this planet. We change our planet, our environment, our humanity every day, every year, every decade, and every millennia.

 

What high school seniors should do after college applications

By: Dimitri Zlatev

 


With application season winding down many students are unsure what comes next.

 

By January 1st most Lincoln seniors will have finally submitted their last application for college. The prior months of deadlines, essays, last minute testing and all the mental anguish that came with them have come to a climax, and it seems that a wave of relief has hit the class of 2018. But now that this multi-year long endeavor is over, one question still lingers:

Now what?

After the long, stressful process and all the preparation that preceded it has come to a close it only feels right to lay back and take it easy until graduation. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth, as most colleges are still actively looking at your senior year and judge it just like they would any other. Should they see any major drops in your GPA, gaps in your attendance record, or any upticks in disciplinary action then it shouldn’t surprise you if a rescindment letter finds itself in your mailbox.

For more insight, I spoke to George Newport, a retired biology professor that taught at both UCSF and UC Berkeley who briefly worked on undergraduate admissions for the later.

“The most common mistake we see is obviously slip ups in grades and I must say that on a personal level it’s always sad to see that happen.” Newport remarked, “You know that so many of these kids have worked themselves to death for almost a quarter of their lives only to have it soiled by a couple C’s in the closing months of high school.” As evidence of this, he points out that this summer UC Irvine rescinded their acceptance letters from 500 such incoming Freshmen due primarily to poor Senior year grades, leaving them without a school to attend for the upcoming Fall semester. Additionally, actions such as dropping any APs or Honors classes in favor of an easy elective are almost guaranteed to diminish your reputation in the eyes of admissions officers.

“Some people think that they can somehow ‘trick’ admissions by taking something like AP Physics for the first half of the year so they say they took it and put it on their application only to later drop it for something completely different. Not only is this incredibly deceitful as you are outright lying about your abilities and intentions, but it’s just dumb. Most colleges have your transcript will see that you switched classes midway through the year. They’re admitting you in part because they believed that you could handle a heavier workload. That dishonesty completely destroys their trust in you.” Ending on a somber note, Newport said that “I didn’t feel any sympathy for those people.”

So what can you do? First off you should avoid looking back at your application essays at all costs. After that submit button has been pressed there is nothing that can be done to either alter or delay its arrival to admissions officers. Rereading it now to locate any missed spelling errors or find a spot where you could've been more specific is an exercise in masochism that accomplishes nothing but produce unneeded remorse.

Additionally if you reported that you are enrolled in any sports or clubs make sure to stick to them until the very end. Colleges want to see stick-to-it-iveness in their students and dropping activities makes it seem like you were only doing it to impress them, not because you were passionate. In fact, should you join any new sports or volunteerships between now and July, make sure to tell them! “Most people don’t realize that you can improve your chances of getting in somewhere well after the submission date. Most colleges are more than happy to hear from prospective students. Informing us via email or phone call about any new, interesting pursuits that you’ve joined not only tells us that you’re more likely to be a dynamic person but it also shows that you care enough about that place to reach out to them.” He then goes on to elaborate, “Colleges are like people, in that they want to feel valued and they don’t want to be your second choice. In an age where the average student could be applying 10 or more places at once, doing these small things like calling the AOs or visiting the campus demonstrates that you are serious about attending and aren’t just your backup if all else fails.”

Finally, once you have done all that you can to ensure your spot in your college of choice remember to file your FAFSA forms before June 30th and research any and all potential scholarships that could help alleviate college debt.

Should you have any questions between now and graduation make sure to talk to your counselor during of after school hours.

English classes donate to fire victims

By: Savinie Lin

 

Teacher has a wonderful idea to donate back to those who were impacted by the Northern California wildfires.

 

After the wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties, English teacher Christine Eng and her English classes decided to donate to the victims with supplies.

Napa and Sonoma both suffered from wildfires that forced people to stay indoors, close schools and libraries, and cancel many events. In those places, homes were destroyed, people had died, and buildings were had burned down which forced many people to find shelter.

Eng says that she saw and heard from the news about the wildfires, the victims, and knew people who suffered because of the fires. All of her English classes helped with donations such as sleeping bags, toilet paper, and toothbrushes.

A police officer told Eng that the other officers had filled up two trucks with donations and planned to drive up to Santa Rosa. For a week, Eng had her students gather donations and had sent out emails to the parents as well. The police officers gave the donations to shelters housing victims.

“I did offer extra credit . . . but I didn’t tell the parents they [students] were getting extra credit. When I sent out the emails I said, ‘Hey let’s see if we can help these people out, give what we can,’” Eng explained.

She told her students not to donate just for the extra credit, “If you’re doing it for the extra credit then really think about why you’re doing this.”

“I felt like I really needed to donate because people lost their families. They have nowhere to live, and they’re on the ground. It’s just really sad,” says freshman, Sophia Deng.

Qinyan Lin, another student, says, “I kind of felt sad for them because it’s not their fault that there was a fire. I feel like I should donate to help others . . . If I could donate anything I would donate for them. If it’s a good thing for them then I’m really happy because I did something.”

Eng’s classes had finished reading “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry and explains that the theme of the story inspired her to donate.

“We were talking a lot about the theme [of the story]. And “The Gift of the Magi” was all about who the wisest people in the world are, and the wisest people in the world are giving [things] from their hearts because they’re thinking about others,” Eng says.

“In the book it says that the wisest people give [things] that other people need even if it sacrifices something else. So it’s kind of giving back to people who don’t have the things they need,” Michelle Guevara, a freshman student, adds.

Eng says that those who are interested in donating should research what organization they’re donating to or what victims need. She adds that victims have been receiving a lot of donations, but that they’re asking for gift cards so when all the donations deplete they’re still able to get the items they need.

    “Everybody [students] was touched by it [the fires], everybody knew about it [what was happening] . . . And I said ‘Okay, we just finished reading a story about the importance of giving. What can we do?’ And the kids were like ‘Alright, we’re gonna give,” said Eng.

SFUSD pipes leak toxic lead

By: Alison Wu

 


Lincoln High's water has been tested for lead and deemed safe.

 

In the middle of October, the California law required lead testing in all public schools. The San Francisco Unified School District International High School have toxic levels of lead found in the water. The three schools have have been shut down and the district will provide bottled water to the students.
According to Kron 4 news, they mentioned that the water itself isn't bad, but the problem is with certain pipes. "Lead was found in the water because of the old pipes." said Lance Tagomori.
However, lead will impact kids' brain development and the nervous system. Everyone is very concerned about the water quality at Lincoln. 
"It is important to test the lead because it will affect the safety of students and staff in Lincoln." Tagomori mentioned.partnered up with San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to test the toxin level of lead. The lead test is taking samples of the water to test for lead. There was lead found in three SFUSD schools. 
Out of the 72 public schools in San Francisco, Malcolm X Elementary school, West Portal Elementary School, and San Francisco
It is illegal and not safe for schools to continue using the pipes. If we found lead in the pipes at Lincoln, then we would be like any other school and shut down all the water sources and provide bottled water. 
 "Lincoln has tested the water already, but the results aren't sure yet. But it [the results] is clear that we don't have[anything] to worry about the water from Lincoln. " Tagomori explained.