Showing posts from July 11, 2014

Power Blogging - High School Students Rocked a Blog in Three Days

Green Ink : Blogging for a Better Tomorrow
You would not think six high school students (along with a mentor and three college counselors - one just graduated in May) could rock a blog and get over 400 visits in three days.

Well, these guys and girls did.

You may be wondering how they did that, because those numbers are amazing in the blogashpere.

As the Green Ink group mentor at the Redesigning the Future summer camp for high school students, I can tell you that we're not talking black hat SEO, buying links, or any other tricks.

These high school students simply put up great information and shared their work. As a power blogger, I can tell you that is the key. Put up information people want to read and get the word out. That's what the group did, and it paid off.

Bloggers Working Hard at the Environmental Summit
I am a Communication lecturer at the college, so I can tell you this was not easy. Good online blog traffic does not just happen. If the students were just tossing up …

Focus Group Favorites

By Boothe Pfaff and Aydan Smith:

During lunch, on Thursday, some campers answered questions about their favorite parts of the Stanback Reserve and the summit so far.  

A:Stanback Reserve   

B:The Summit

Holly Kuhn - Backbone for Conservation
A. "My favorite part was going on the trails and looking at all the wildlife there."
B. "Going to our focus groups and studying everything that we have our interests in."

Becan Hennighan - Backbone for Conservation
A. "The variety of plants and animals that live there and the sheer beauty of the preserve itself."
B. "Going out into the preserve and learning about the various animals that live in it."

Amanda Williamson - Backbone for conservation
A. "When we get to actually see and hold the birds as well as walk through the mud to set up turtle traps." "Its just so beautiful and you just feel one with nature."
B. "Meeting new & interesting people and going through the preserve to catch, tag …

Fried Kudzu? Can You Really Eat That?

By: Payton Coleman 

All you need is love,but a little fried kudzu never hurt anybody!

Students in the Invasive Alien Plants and Animals focus group enjoyed some oddly delicious kudzu. Their first mission before enjoying the final product was to explore around the campus for natural kudzu. They then cleaned the kudzu, and deep fried the unusual cuisine.

Here are some comments from the  students about the exercise... 

"We went a couple blocks near the campus, and we cut the kudzu. It was like a scavenger hunt and it was cool." -Anusha Joshi

"As we ate and deep-fried the kudzu, we thought about how funny it would be to sell fried kudzu at a county fair.  We even thought of a great slogan: Saving the environment, one crunchy kudzu snack at a time." -Savannah Swinea

What Would You Do If . . .

Robin Emmons, Founder & Executive Director of Sow Much Good, opened the 2014 National Environmental Summit for high school students.

Her story began when she realized that she needed to make some changes. She began by resigning from her 20-year corporate job. When her husband asked her how her day went, she smiled and said, "I quit my job." But, she told him she had a plan. At that moment, she actually didn't.

The concern that was pulling at Emmons' heart was her mentally ill brother who had many needs as a homeless person with one of those being access to fresh and healthy food. On his behalf and others unable to afford food, she had 50 friends over to turn her entire back yard into a gardening space. Her husband enjoyed his riding mower and keeping up the back yard. She said he still misses his back yard.

Students at the summit were asked what they would think/do if their parents had an epiphany moment like Simmons did and quit working and turned the family yar…

Newspaper Towers and First Place Winners

By: Jumana Mograbi

A stack of newspapers in hand and a couple of minutes on the clock, the campers creativity shone through during last nights Eco Olympics.

The task assigned consisted off building a tower from the newspapers provided, the tower was judged based on creativity and height. The newspapers were folded, ripped into pieces and stacked on top of each other as the campers tried to keep the newspapers from falling apart.

Communication skills and team work were shown as the campers worked together on building a tower, and as they tried to think of ideas that would help them win first place.

After 10 minutes, time was called and the campers stopped working and stepped back from their creations. The focus groups towers were all different in shapes and heights and creativity.

After observing all the towers the judges gave Invasive Species the award for tallest tower while Go Ahead Change Your Mind won most creative. The newspapers were then recycled and gathered up as the campers…

I Changed My Mind - Learning to Make Decisions at Summer Camp

By Alia Dahlan Dr. Seth Holtzman, a professor of philosophy at Catawba College led environmental summit students on an intellectual journey to truly understand the decision-making process. They learned about how large change occurs and the mindset required to change people's minds.

Participants read passages to discuss ethics and morals of decisions, along with objectivity vs. subjectivity. They had intensive discussions on the philosophy of altering people's perspectives.