Kit Carson International Academy celebrates 52nd annual Earth Day

More stories from Mirella Bennett



The United States celebrated its 52nd annual Earth Day on April 22. In order to get students interested and learning about helping the planet, school garden coordinator Lora Jones (along with several other teachers and student volunteers) created a number of activities for students to do during the day. 

During the setup of the Earth Day activities, student volunteers created and placed banners and posters around campus. They also set up stations for students to come and learn more about sustainability and how to live sustainably. 

One of the stations, the solar oven station, was created by Prabhjot Rai’s 8th grade science class. The students created a series of solar powered ovens by cutting the top of pizza boxes, adding a plastic cover in place of it, and wrapping the left over tab and inside of the box in aluminum foil.

The aluminum foil collects heat from the sun and the plastic “contains it” to warm up whatever is inside the solar oven. The volunteers had placed chocolate and graham crackers in the solar ovens to demonstrate the melting power of the ovens and provide a snack for the students. 

Along with the solar power ovens, Lora Jones set up several speakers to talk about their eco-friendly lifestyles for the students. 

A Tesla presentation and talk by Scott Lambert allowed students to learn more about electric cars and the cost and benefits related to them. 

After, in a garden tour, ASES after school program gardening coordinator Joseph Fox-Sowell told students about how to create their own gardens and the benefits of gardening for the environment. Fox-Sowell went on to describe Kit Carson’s new Three Sisters Garden, in which he used techniques that Native American tribes used to use to protect their crops. The Three Sisters Garden contains three crops: corn, beans and squash.

Native Seeds Search describes the benefits of Three Sisters in a simple way: 

Corn provides tall stalks for the beans to climb so that they are not out-competed by sprawling squash vines. Beans provide nitrogen to fertilize the soil while also stabilizing the tall corn during heavy winds. Beans are nitrogen-fixers meaning they host rhizobia on their roots that can take nitrogen, a much needed plant nutrient, from the air and convert it into forms that can be absorbed by plant roots. The large leaves of squash plants shade the ground which helps retain soil moisture and prevent weeds.”

The students had a smoothie station as well as a plant sale and an area for kids to write earth day inspired messages with chalk in front of the H-wing classes. 

“This kind of action is going on everywhere,” said Jones, “Youth have a big part to play in this. This is your future.” 

In the smoothie station, volunteers used ingredients such as yogurt, soy milk, garden greens, and bananas to create green smoothies for the students. 

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), a community-owned electric utility service, had a booth at the Kit Carson Earth Day event where they provided solar panels and tools to teach students how to use different circutting techniques. 

Through all the activities and presenters Kit Carson students learned a variety of new ways to live sustainably and about climate change in general.  ”It’s part of this larger effort, to surround people, to normalize messages about conservation and sustainability,” said Kit Carson teacher Jed Larsen.