On December 13, Science 9 students in Mr. Gary Horton’s Block A class were the first class to be treated to a special guest presentation. The speaker was a representative of Green Bricks, an organization that involves British Columbian youth in exploring land usage and land development responsibly. The organization works to find ways to protect the earth and conserve resources. Green Bricks has been active in schools and communities around British Columbia since 2007, engaging students and people in this science-based program.

Green Bricks has partnered with several cities, such as Abbottsford, Delta, and Vancouver, as seen on the Green Bricks home page. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is a main partner and helps to provide resources that support their passion for conserving the earth and its resources. The Province of British Columbia has helped to fund the organization with financial assistance and is a key factor in their ability to share their experiences and findings.

Green Bricks was started by two women named Fiona Zawadzki and Diana Klein. The two have created programs about sustainability, which includes education programs for high school students and elementary school students. “It’s really to bring awareness toward energy, waste, and water conservation,” said Silka Hawkmire, who works with Green Bricks. One of the founders specializes in education, while the other founder has an engineering background and works on low-energy usage houses. Zawadzki, one of the directors, is connected with Mr. Horton, so that’s how the group got the chance to visit Riverside

Students in a Grade 9 science class participating in a hands-on activity.

“This presentation is all about introducing and bringing the green economy to students’ awareness, seeing how we can use our careers to make a positive difference. It’s also about checking in with themselves on how they can conserve in their own lives and be aware of our waste in water and energy in British Columbia,” said Hawkmire. Hawkmire gets great feedback from students, and feels the students are very well engaged with the presentation. The presentation was received positively by students; many were shocked at what they had discovered. 

“We learned that just so many things we do, day-to-day, have that much of a negative impact on the environment. Any tiny thing we do really impacts the environment. For instance, Styrofoam cups; we use them so casually but when we throw them out it really damages our ecosystem,” said Ksenya Narkevich, a grade 9 student in Mr. Horton’s class.

The class just finished the Environmental unit, which also tied into the presentation.
The day-long Green Bricks presentation featured a slideshow of information, and several hands-on activities that involved the students in the class that focused on how British Columbians waste their resources.

With this presentation, it is easy to reflect and realize how much water and energy is wasted in our everyday lives. After watching the presentation, many students are now aware of their wasteful routines, and are inspired to create a difference in our environment.