Tag Archives: 夜上海论坛TY

Biodiesel one slick solution, but more to come

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first_imgTeams of undergraduate students huddled quietly around the gray metal desks in the teaching labs at Harvard’s Science Center. Each group was creating a calorimeter out of a used soda can and scavenged Styrofoam cups to determine the energy density and efficiency of the biodiesel they had extracted the week before from waste fryer oil provided by Annenberg Dining Hall.The students’ research factors into both scholarship and institutional action as Harvard works to generate solutions to the challenge of climate change. They have joined the ranks of Harvard Kennedy School faculty member James Stock, who received one of the first Climate Change Solutions Fund grants for his research investigating market impediments to biofuels penetration. Institutionally, the students are looking at the University’s 2004 decision to fuel its shuttles with biodiesel, which emerged as an alternative fuel source for vehicles because it creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions and reduces pollution.“The biodiesel lesson definitely personalized the manner in which we utilize energy here on campus,” said Victor Agbafe ’19. “In many instances, when we are thinking about how Harvard as an institution is trying its best to set new trends in saving energy, it can be abstract, and we can’t often observe tangible examples of how this is implemented on a daily basis.”Students involved in the teaching lab’s biodiesel experiment said the work has given them new perspectives on the larger local, regional, and global issues of energy and sustainability.The story of how waste vegetable oil from Harvard’s freshman dining hall ended up being used in one of the College’s most popular chemistry classes began as a collaboration between the Office for Sustainability’s (OFS) FAS Green Program and Sirinya Matchacheep, Ph.D. ’07, the director of instructional programs in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Matchacheep, an active OFS Green Team member, wanted to incorporate lessons from the campus commitment to sustainability into the curriculum of the teaching labs classes she facilitates. She partnered with sustainability coordinator Anthony Michetti to identify several creative ways to do just that for the nearly 400 students taking the Chemistry Department’s entry-level PS1 and PS11 classes.,“Energy and sustainability are both interesting and relevant,” said Matchacheep. “By incorporating these topics and real-world examples from the campus into our classroom, students can walk out of the lab and understand what is being talked about in the news, and have the tools to make informed decisions.”Students heard directly from Michetti about Harvard’s Sustainability Plan and the goal set in 2008 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2016. They learned how blackberries and raspberries used as part of a solar cell lab were composted, providing additional insight into waste reduction efforts across campus. Tours of the University’s Blackstone Steam Plant and chilled-water facilities gave a hands-on demonstration of energy systems and the chemistry of the heating and cooling cycle.Harvard’s faculty and students are increasingly using the campus and surrounding community as living laboratories for understanding the multifaceted problems posed by global climate change and sustainable development. In the past year, the Office for Sustainability has increased resources and attention to facilitate a greater number of these projects to provide valuable experiential learning opportunities and inform the work being done on campus to reduce energy and enhance well-being.“Previously, I wasn’t very familiar with how what we usually consider waste on campus can be used for sustainable purposes,” said Jesper Ke ’19. “Participating in this lab and hearing directly from those at Harvard working on sustainability has made me more mindful of the role that we students can also play in helping with these efforts.”last_img read more

JPW brings together students, parents for weekend of events

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first_imgPhoto courtesy of Rachel Belans Junior Rachel Belans, right, cultures cells with her parents in a lab in Jordan Hall of Science on Saturday.“As a junior student, I was on cloud nine with meeting friends and family through different events,” Schweninger said. “ … I was really struck by how the Notre Dame community embraced our families this weekend and the opportunity to thank our families for all they’ve done to form us for this community now.”With the availability of the new Duncan Student Center, Schweninger said, there were possibly more changes to JPW this year than ever before.“The gala was especially different, with four levels of programming in Duncan and student performances throughout the night,” she said. “And the brunch was also hosted in the Duncan Ballroom, with open seating and a brunch buffet for guests to come in on their own time. I think the changes offered a great variety of social spaces for our families.”Alongside such changes, Schweninger said the JPW committee did its best to make the events accessible and affordable for more juniors.“This meant widening the range for the gala’s recommended attire, as well as promoting financial assistance for tickets, housing and travel through the Office of Student Enrichment,” Schweninger said.The weekend opened with the gala Friday night, which gala chair junior Daniela Iezza said in an email is the exciting moment in which students get to introduce friends and Notre Dame families to their own families.“The Duncan Student Center buzzed with chatter, music and laughter as classmates and families came together to begin one of the most memorable weekends of the Notre Dame experience,” Iezza said.The gala was an exciting challenge, Iezza said, due to its new location.“We had so many amazing things we wanted to show off, and for our inaugural year in the student center, we were blessed to be able to do just that,” she said. “We had portrait photographers, an awesome DJ, hors d’oeuvres, drinks, dancing and a wide variety of incredibly talented student performers all working together to give life and variety to our evening.”The weekend also featured academic workshops that allowed parents to experience students’ chosen colleges. As the chair of the Arts and Letters showcase, junior Emily Hirshorn said her goal was to help parents see the value of a broad liberal arts education in a “warm and welcoming” manner.“It was really such an honor and really rewarding experience because you can represent the college that you love and also bring people together in the community for that morning,” she said.As leaders of the JPW planning process, Schweninger said she and a committee met weekly to touch base on different aspects of the program. Another big part of the preparation, she said, was answering hundreds of emails over the last few months alongside junior Joe Crowley, the JPW vice chair.“What drew me to become one of the leaders for JPW was the mission of the weekend,” Crowley said in an email. “All of the planning of JPW is dedicated towards creating a weekend which facilitates the encounter of parents with those people and experiences their student has come to call their very own Notre Dame family.”A particularly powerful moment, Crowley said, was seeing families engage in “quality conversations” during Sunday brunch, drawing parents further into students’ experiences as members of the Notre Dame family.“[When] a parent meets a professor whom they’ve heard so much about, visits their son or daughter’s favorite study spot where countless hours of sweat and thinking have been expended or finally gets to have a conversation with another student who has come to play such a role in their own student’s life; it is in these moments that the mission of JPW is fulfilled and defined, in these moments when our community extends a little further to encompass our parents and their love for us now and their dreams for our futures,” he said.Tags: JPW, juniors, parents The class of 2019 and seniors who spent the spring semester of their junior year abroad welcomed parents to campus Friday for Junior Parents Weekend (JPW), an annual University tradition.According to the JPW website, the weekend featured a variety of events for students and parents including a gala, a Mass, a president’s address and a Sunday brunch. JPW’s executive chair, junior Maureen Schweninger, said in an email that, based off visitor feedback, JPW 2018 was “an incredible success.” [Editor’s Note: Schweninger is a former sports writer for The Observer.]last_img read more