Student Environmental Leadership
- Educates... regional high school students
- Unites... diverse students
- Involves... students in their community
The Student Leadeship program is the only comprehensive environmental education program serving northeast Ohio high schools.
The Student Leadeship program unites urban and suburban high schools to become environmentally aware and involved in their schools and communities. SEC educates students and gives them tools to improve the quality of the environment in their neighborhoods.
Each year the Student Leadeship program brings students together around an issue, such as urban sprawl or energy, through a series of workshops and fun, educational outings. The final outing, a spring community-service project, is a culmination of the students’ yearlong work and planning.
The highlight of the Student Leadeship program is a student-led conference, which takes place every spring. In addition to the outings each school develops their own environmental project. Student participants alternate between presenting a workshop on their yearlong project and attending other school’s workshops.
2014 Clean Water Highlights:
The 2014 Student Environmental Leadership Conference on Clean Water brought numerous high schools from the Cleveland area together for a day of fun and learning. Educational programs were peer lead and geared at engaging one another and learning ways to improve everyday life. Not only are these projects presented and worked on by Cleveland high schools, but throughout the rest of the year the projects expand into community outreach before being showcased at Earth Day Fest in April.
Beachwood: Art Workshop- Stream of Consciousness
- Project focused on expressing thoughts, feelings, and messages of water then joining these all together to create a free flowing river of ideas.
John Hay Science & Medicine: Presentation: Zero Waste in Water
- This interactive presentation combined talking points with a diorama of land and what happens when water is polluted. Each table had a diorama along with a student to explain what exactly happens when pollution runs off into our water.
John Hay Architecture & Design: Sustainable Practices Workshop- Green Cleaning Products
- Project focused on changing our old habits and beliefs of cleaning products by creating our own eco-friendly recipes and products including: All Purpose Spray, Fragrant Room Spray, Scrub, and Dish Soap. All focusing on alternatives to what we typically use and why these alternatives are better for the environment.
Lincoln West: Energy Workshop- Water Bottles & Light Switch Decorating
- Using reusable water bottles and light switch covers, students decorated both with sayings geared at reducing waste and energy.
- Participated in Outreach program at St. Patrick’s Church Food Pantry by giving away decorated bottles and covers in order to teach others the connection between waste, water, and energy.
Shaw High School: Puppet Show
- Linking the 2013 Zero Waste SELC with this years Clean Water, Shaw students made a creative & funny puppet show to portray our everyday use of water and how much waste it produces.
Maple Heights: Introduction & Ice Breaker
- Began the conference with introductions for the day and mixed all students from the high schools together to form a “Human Web” by holding hands and having to get untangled without letting go. A great ice breaker to mix and mingle and start the morning energized!
Washington Heights: Wildlife Workshop: How Water Quality Affects Species
- An animal display was created to represent the way wildlife is affected by human impacts on water. Presenting on hydraulic fracturing, algae blooms, and oil spills students were able to learn specific outcomes of our actions on habitats.
Examples of Past SEC Projects:
- Students at John Hay HS on Cleveland’s east side transformed a barren courtyard into beautiful natural habitat.
- John F. Kennedy HS on Cleveland’s south east side dedicated four years of work to environmental justice, and influenced one local industry to reduce its air pollution by 14 percent.
- Strongsville HS developed a traveling interactive display on energy efficiency.
- Through community outreach and attendance at City Council meeting, Beachwood HS students preserved a section of diminishing green space and influenced the City to use Green Building principals in the new community center.
- Students at Max Hayes HS, on Cleveland’s west side, adopted an east side kindergarten class. They brought activities to their classroom and took them on hikes and to a nature center.
Since 1997, 5,000 students have been trained to address local environmental issues and actively improve their community’s health. Through the outreach efforts of the Student Leadeship program participants, over 3,250 elementary, middle, and high school students and 2,000 adults have been educated on environmental issues and over 100 outreach and community-service project have been conducted.