The Glocal Challenge for 2017-2018 was, "How can we improve sustainable transportation in Cambridge by 2020?" Throughout the Glocal Challenge, 133 CRLS students were engaged in 8 weeks of intensive learning about transportation and how to make it more sustainable and equitable locally and globally. Students were placed in small teams and used design thinking to formulate creative solutions to improve sustainable transportation in Cambridge, which resulted in them pitching their solutions to a group of expert judges. Five teams won the Glocal Challenge, resulting in paid summer internships with the City of Cambridge, seed funding to implement their projects during the summer, and an all expense paid trip for two of the winning teams to the EF Global Students Leaders Summit in Berlin, Germany.
The five winning teams spent 6 weeks interning with the City of Cambridge Community Development Department this summer to implement their sustainable transportation improvement projects. You can read all about their amazing accomplishments below!
In conjunction with the City of Cambridge and the community group Cambridge Bicycle Safety, implemented a separated bike lane pilot along Broadway in front of the Cambridge Public Library and CRLS. Their pilot goals included: improving bicycle safety along Broadway and collecting data on the usage of a separated bike lane.
In conjunction with the City of Cambridge, the MBTA, and EF, implemented a pilot bus priority lane along North Mass Ave. during the morning and evening rush hours! Their project goals included: reducing bus bunching; making commuting faster; and increasing the reliability of the bus!
Cam Tran Team: The Cam Tran team experienced a great project pivot over the summer. Their original goal was a create a way finding app based on bicycle level of comfort and safety not just speed. After weeks of surveying Cambridge residents, their data indicated that 50% of people felt uncomfortable cycling in the city. The team decided the best use their time and data was to suggest level of comfort improvements to an existing platform used by people that cycle, Google Maps. This resulted in the team creating a business pitch and pitching their ideas to the Google business and maps team!
Check out their business pitch here!
Transportation Transformers Team: During their summer internship,Transportation Transformers worked closely with Blue Bikes and the City's Environment and Transportation Division to create a youth discount program for Cambridge youth between 16-19 years old. A Blue Bikes annual membership is $99, but thanks to the team's great Glocal project goal and hard work over the summer, youth can now only pay $25! The team will continue working towards their project goal to sign youth up for discounted Blue Bikes memberships throughout the school year.
Sign up for a $25 annual Blue Bikes membership here! Discount Code: COCYouth
Glocal Challenge 2016-2017
The challenge for 2016-2017 program was: “How can we reduce food waste in the Cambridge community?” Through the Glocal Challenge, CRLS students were placed in teams of 3-5 students, spent 8 weeks learning about issues of food waste and food security globally and locally, invented a creative idea to reduce food waste in Cambridge, and then pitched their idea to expert judges. The top three winning student teams received a trip to Italy for the EF Global Student Leaders Summit and the top five teams received seed funding from the City of Cambridge to kick-start their projects during their paid summer internships with the City. Additionally, all participants earned 10 community service hours.
So in summer 2017, the five teams got to intern with the City of Cambridge Community Development Department and implement parts of their projects with the seed money they won. The summer internship for the winning teams started on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017. You can read on below for more information about what each of the teams did!
The Biodiesel Team
During the summer, the biodiesel team conducted several outreaches to the local restaurants in the City, surveying them and providing more information about what to do with used cooking oil.
The Anaerobic Digester Team
The digester team researched and compared the economics, greenhouse gas emissions, and educational benefits of various food waste reduction and food repurposing methods for the City, including installing an anaerobic digester. The team then presented their research to the City. You can find their final report here.
The Expiration Dates Team
The expiration team created and distributed informational materials about expiration dates and saving money spent on wasted food at various outreaches. You can find their brochure here and also find more information on the lifespan of different kinds of food on eatbydate.com.
The Compost Stickers Program Team
The Sticker team ran a sticker competition pilot program to increase citizen composting participation in the Curbside Compost Pilot and participated in door-to-door awareness outreach about composting. You can find their final reports here and here.
The Waste Reduction Kit Team
The waste reduction kit team put together and distributed 200 units of food waste reducing kit to lower and middle-income households in person. The kit included items to help keep food fresh for longer as well as other educational materials for reducing food waste and increasing composting. Their final report can be found here.
Glocal Challenge 2015-2016
The challenge for 2016-2017 program was to focus on energy use in Cambridge as part of the City's effort to win the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize. Between October and December of 2015, in teams of 3-5, students learned about energy use globally and locally, developed a creative plan to reduce energy in Cambridge, and then pitched their idea to expert judges. The top two winning student teams received a trip to Iceland for the EF Global Student Leaders Summit in March, and the top five teams received seed funding from the City of Cambridge to kick-start their projects during their paid summer internships with the City. Additionally, all participants earned 10 community service hours.
The Power Saviors are a group of young, dedicated high school students who won the Glocal Challenge competition at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) in 2016. The Glocal Challenge is an 8-week competition hosted by CRLS, EF Education First, and the City of Cambridge to propose solutions to global challenges with local implications. In 2016, the challenge was to decrease energy use in our community by 2017 in order for Cambridge to win the Georgetown University Energy Prize. As winners of the popular vote, the Power Saviors worked with the Community Development Department to research the most effective locations for installing kinetic energy tiles in Cambridge. Kinetic energy tiles are tiles that generate energy after there is pressure applied to them (footsteps, bicycle wheels, cars, etc). The energy is then stored in a battery and can be used to power lights, appliances, or other utilities.
According to team members Nitant Rimal and Hassan Gudal, both CRLS Juniors: “We knew that some parts of Cambridge were heavily populated with tourists, students, etc. We decided to take advantage of this, and decided to propose kinetic energy tiles.”
In the summer, the students collected data by counting the amount of people who walk, skate, bike, or drive through Harvard Square, Kendall Square, Inman Square, and Porter Square. From the data that was gathered, it was determined that the best places to put the tiles were Harvard Square and Kendall Square. For example, in front of one restaurant in Harvard Square there was an average of 1,500 footsteps per hour. Each footstep generates about 4 watts, which is an average of 6,000 watts per hour. For context, it takes 10-20 watts to power a tablet for an hour. In addition to the energy produced, the Power Saviors feel that the tiles are a great educational and awareness-building resource for Cambridge.
Team members Hayley Swope, Maroua Oudani, and Ginely Baltodano have been strong advocates for the project for the past year. “After winning the Glocal Challenge, the next step was to try to get funding through the City via Participatory Budgeting. We submitted our idea, and worked hard to get as many votes as possible. We went room to room in the school classrooms to gather many votes!”
The Power Saviors submitted their kinetic energy tile proposal to Participatory Budgeting over the summer. And guess what? They won! The students were able to successfully advocate for $50,000 to be allocated for purchasing and installing energy-producing tiles during the next fiscal year.
You can find the original article here.