Dedicated Teenagers vs. The Race Against Climate Change


Curtsy of Knightly Update

This year, our school’s Hydro-heat project team was nominated for the 2020 Maricopa County Climate and Health Champion Award recognition program by Maricopa county. “This program acknowledges those in our community that are working to improve health and quality of life through efforts that counter the health impacts of climate change. The aim is to build community awareness and knowledge about climate and health and share information about successful interventions. The Maricopa County Climate and Health Champions Recognition Program was established in 2017 as part of the Bridging Climate Change and Public Health (BCCPH) Strategic Plan to build community awareness and knowledge about climate health and share information about successful interventions.” (ACP Erie Knightly Update for November 1). In summary, our students are helping to spread awareness about the treat of climate change and how we can better our environment to benefit the health of people in all ages. Today, we’re interviewing the team, consisting of Omina Nematova, Kailtyn Lai, Sohani Sandhu, Abraham Troop, Alex Kroumov, Jacob Kaufman Warner, Diya Nath, Nealin Banerjee, and Daniel Wu, about how they feel to help their community at such young ages.

Q: Did you expect to be nominated for the award? Why or why not? What was your initial reaction when you found out?

A: We were aware that we were eligible for the award, so it was not a complete surprise when we were nominated, but it certainly exceeded our expectations. The nomination came from an organization that we had met with last year to discuss heat problems in Arizona. They seemed very impressed with our responses and experience with the topic, so the nomination was definitely on our radar. Once we found out that we actually received it, however, we were ecstatic; this project took a great deal of time and effort, and we’re excited to see it all pay off!

Q: How long did you guys work on the project? Was it fun? What did you take away from working on the project?

A: We have been working on the project since the beginning of March 2019 and have been going forward with it ever since. It was a lot of fun working together to solve a problem that is very prevalent in Arizona and different parts of the country: heat. There was a lot to take away from this project from learning teamwork skills, business and finance, public speaking skills and more. We hope our product can help prevent the common issue of heat-stroke.

Q: How did you all work on it? Were there some people working on some parts and other people work on other parts? 

A: We separated everything into specific roles and made small teams to tackle every job simultaneously. We have a research team, an administration team, tech team, outreach team, sustainability team, and a finance team.

Q: How was your overall experience with working with your fellow peers for a cause that doesn’t get enough attention?

A: Our overall experience was full of ups and downs. We’ve had many setbacks like not getting the MIT grant and Covid-19 postponing our activities. Despite our obstacles, we have won many grants and awards. We have learned a lot from this project and plan to go even further with it in the future.

It’s a shame that a lot of people don’t take climate change seriously, but with cons comes pros. Even though older generations are a little bit late to recognize the threat, it’s important for younger generations to plan ahead for the future and understand the severity of it. According to the Climate and Health Strategic Plan, Arizona experiences extreme weather like dust storms, heat waves, drought, and poor air quality. These conditions pose a threat to public health and can worsen underlying illnesses . With bright, young minds joining in the game to research about climate change and its effects on living organisms, there is hope that we’ll be able to fix the mistakes of the past.


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