15 Year-Old Helps Motivate Dell Ocean Plastics Program

first_imgLast week, I joined Dell and Adrian Grenier as we hosted the Legacy of Good Change Maker Brunch — a new way of bringing together fellow change makers looking to collaborate and innovate to create positive impacts for our communities and planet. Karen Courter along with the Change Maker panelists who spoke about how we give a voice to our next generation of female leaders. From left: Alexis Jones, Saanya Bhargava, Mikaila Ulmer, and Tamara Hudgins.Saanya spoke on March 14 at the SXSW Change Maker event’s all-female panel (above) focused on how we give a voice to our next generation of female leaders—an important aspect of Dell’s 2020 Legacy of Good Plan.View a livestream of the panel discussion here, to hear more from Saanya and the other panelists including: 12-year-old Mikaila Ulmer, founder and CEO of BeeSweet Lemonade; Alexis Jones, founder of I AM THAT GIRL and ProtectHer; and Tamara Hudgins, executive director of Girlstart.Sustainable packaging and upcycling is all part of our 2020 Legacy of Good, our commitment is to put our technology and expertise to use where it can do the most good for people and the planet. You can learn more about our ocean plastics packaging approach and program in this white paper and video. We kicked off this meet-up at the Dell Experience at SXSW in Austin, Texas, with a panel led by the Lonely Whale Foundation Executive Director Dune Ives, joined by actor and Dell social good advocate Adrian Grenier, Dell’s packaging engineer Oliver Campbell, and artist/conservationist Ben Von Wong. It turned out to be a really interesting discussion about how these talented people are working to address the challenges facing our oceans.Dell shares with these people a real passion for our planet—and for big ideas that disrupt business as usual and transform our world for the better—even if they seem like crazy ideas at first.Fifteen-year-old Saanya Bhargava knows all about crazy ideas. She helped motivate Dell’s ocean plastics program after a science competition drove her and her dad, Piyush Bhargava, Dell’s Vice President of Global Operations, to dig into the question: Could Dell use ocean plastic waste in its packaging?On February 28, Dell announced our industry’s first ocean bound plastic packaging pilot for our signature consumer laptop, the XPS 13 2-in-1. More on that story here.Our ocean plastics work is a great example of how big ideas can result in big success, even if they take a winding path to get there. That was a shared sentiment amongst Saanya and the other three female panelists she spoke with last Tuesday, as part of our meet-up.As the host of that panel, it was great to hear Saanya talk about how she has felt empowered to get involved in STEM. And we’re glad she did! With her dad’s support, she inspired Dell—and she continues to inspire others to think big and share ideas.Our Q&A below with Saanya shares more about her involvement in Dell’s ocean plastics program and the Change Maker event, and how she thinks her generation can affect positive change.Saanya is a high school student and co-founder of STEM Advocacy Conference of Texas (SACOT), a student-led organization created to help spread STEM through advocacy in local and state governments of Texas. She competes in UIL Robotics and her team won the UIL State Championship and placed 7th in the world championship in 2016.How did you get interested in STEM and do you think STEM skills help put your sustainability passions to use? I have always had a strong interest in STEM subjects since middle school. This interest led me to explore a problem of ocean plastic pollution through a research paper that I wrote for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Inspire competition as well as the Google Science Fair. The analytical skills that allow you to go in-depth on a problem, presented in STEM-related subjects, have provided me a strong foundation for my journey in sustainability.Saanya, we understand you played a role in Dell’s ocean plastics program. Can you tell us how you got inspired by ocean plastics?My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Burnett, was describing a huge plastic island the size of Texas, floating in the Pacific Ocean. This image stuck in my mind when I was looking for research paper topics my freshman year. I decided I wanted to address this issue through people who could do something about it!My dad connected me with Dell’s Packaging Director Oliver Campbell, who was also exploring this topic. Oliver has been a great mentor. In the summer of 2016, I was able to participate in research work on the development of an ocean plastics supply chain, documented in the white paper Dell published. I realized that the impact of my research was beyond winning a science competition—it was about changing the world.What are the challenges of your generation in affecting positive change?My generation has been exposed to the use of technology at a very younger age. This gives us a unique perspective on how technology can enable solutions. However, many in my generation are yet to gain credibility with key decision makers. That is why youth empowerment is a critical enabler for success.And what are some personal challenges you’ve overcome? Being a girl in STEM has brought some challenges. As an example, my freshman robotics team—of mostly boys—did not recognize my full potential and predisposed me to non-technical roles. I had to reach into my strengths to create significant roles using my skills and bring more parity in the team. As I understand, my experience is very similar to what some women face in the workplace today. I have learned that staying the course and advocating for gender equality in teams is key to gaining confidence as a girl in STEM.The idea behind the Change Maker meet-up is: when we work together, we accomplish more for our world. So how are you collaborating and what’s your goal? I see how collaborating with like-minded high-school students can create momentum and build a powerful voice that can influence change. I just launched a new youth initiative called impact.gravitas which strives to solve the ocean plastic problem through collaboration with companies like Dell, NGOs, policy makers, and concerned individuals. I’m pretty active on Twitter @impactgravitas with spreading awareness about the problem and what we’re doing to change it.last_img read more

Invader from the Wild Garden

first_img“Some animal is living in my attic,” the caller said. “I’ve collectedthe droppings — can you tell me what they are?””Bring them over,” I said, and in due course the droppings were delivered.They were about half an inch long, and shorter than rat droppings.”It’s a squirrel living in your house” I said.”Is this a problem?” my visitor asked.Squirrels are interesting creatures of wooded and wild gardens and subdivisions — ifthey stay outside. But inside, they’re hazards.The risks come from squirrels’ endless chewing. They chew holes in soffits and siding,they chew holes in insulation, they chew this and chew that.The main risk comes from chewing electrical wires. They may cause short circuits inhidden places which can cause house fires.Squirrels are also a potential, though uncommon, source of disease.Getting rid of squirrels is a bad enough problem. There are companies in the businessof moving them. I called one.”How about squirrels — are they an important part of your business?” Iasked.”Gray squirrels are always our top species,” the receptionist told me.”As of today (June 17) we made 462 visits for gray squirrel problems this year.Flying squirrels are No. 2. To date, we have removed 189 from houses.”This firm also copes with racoons, possums, bats, snakes and other animals for a fee.If you have squirrels in your house, you can get them out yourself with a little commonsense, capture technique and carpentry.Forget chemicals. There is nothing I’d recommend for this purpose. How about mothballs?They are neither effective not labeled for eliminating squirrels.So, how can you get rid of them?The first thing to do is find the opening. Look around vents and louvers and otherlikely places. Then use a cage trap — set inside — to catch the animal. A trap thatopens at both ends mounted over the hole works great.Use peanut butter on bread crusts and apple slices for bait. After you’ve caught yoursquirrel, set the trap again to catch another. Keep the trap in place for at least a weekafter you catch your last squirrel. Then close the opening.Leave the trap set in the attic for a few more days to catch any squirrels accidentallylocked in.Don’t turn your squirrel loose in the yard — he will chew back into his old residence.He needs to be taken far away. How far? It’s hard to say. Try 10 miles.last_img read more

Hiluta keeps Spanish title in English hands

first_img For the third successive year, the Spanish Amateur Championship is in English hands after Jack Hiluta beat Germany’s Marcel Schneider 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final at Alcanada, Majorca. The 22 year old from Essex maintained England’s recent monopoly of the event which has seen Sam Hutsby from Hampshire finish runner-up in 2009, Matt Haines from Kent beat Lancashire’s Tommy Fleetwood in the 2010 final, and Somerset’s Laurie Canter lifted the title last year after defeating Surrey’s Stiggy Hodgson, his England team mate.  Hiluta, who was ninth seed after the 36-hole stroke play qualifying, beat Spain’s Toni Ferrer 3 and 2 in round one then put out fellow Englishman Ashley Chesters from Shropshire 3 and 1 to reach the quarter finals.  A 2 and 1 win over Kenny Subregis of France booked a semi-final place where he edged past Dutchman Daan Huizing by 1 hole.  In the final, Hiluta lost an early lead and found himself behind after three holes. But he regained it by the turn and was 2-up at lunch. He increased that on the opening hole of the afternoon and although Schneider pegged him back to 1-up with nine to play, a concession at the 28th followed by a birdie at the long 29th restored his three-hole advantage.  A birdie-three at the 32nd put the Essex man 4-up and the title was secured at the next which they halved in par fours.  Hiluta, who has spent the last few years at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, was capped at under 16 and boys levels and represented GB&I against the Continent of Europe in the Jacques Leglise Trophy.  He was England boy captain in 2007, a member of the England A squad in 2009 and last year, when back from college, he finished third in the Berkshire Trophy.  Meanwhile, Jamie Clare, runner-up in last year’s English Amateur Championship at Woburn, reached the semi-finals of the South African Amateur at Mowbray Golf Club in Cape Town.  The Somerset teenager was beaten at the 19th by Brandon Stone having defeated England colleague Toby Tree 1-up in the round of the last 16. MatchPlay Results 5 Mar 2012 Hiluta keeps Spanish title in English hands last_img read more

Lacey-based SCJ Alliance adds Eighth Office Location and New Team in…

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by SCJ AllianceWhat started as three people in Thurston County is now more than 90 across the state and into Colorado. Two engineers and a planner have turned their breakaway team into a full-scale, multidisciplinary firm in just 12 years.In July, SCJ Alliance welcomed Studio Cascade, an award-winning, community planning and design firm in Spokane and increased their range even further.“Studio Cascade is highly regarded for their comprehensive plans, subarea plans, and master plans, adding greater depth to our planning group,” SCJ co-founder Jean Carr said.“This is a tremendous opportunity for our firms, our clients, and our employees,” she continued. “We both share a commitment to client relationships and quality work, treasure our employees, and value collaboration across disciplines.”Bill Grimes founded Studio Cascade in 1992. He shares, “Joining our firms provides an opportunity to grow and achieve more together than we could alone. We also have great alignment on our culture and approach to projects, which is so important.”Some of Studio Cascade’s high-visibility projects include the Lacey Depot District Subarea Plan, Council Bluffs Arts and Culture District Plan, Bainbridge Island Waterfront Park and City Dock Master Plan, San Juan County Vision Assessment, and the award-winning Port Angeles Waterfront Transportation Improvement Project.SCJ specializes in environmental and urban planning, civil engineering, transportation planning and design, landscape architecture, and public outreach. The privately-held, majority women-owned firm has been nationally recognized multiple times for growth, award-winning projects, and as a great place to work.In addition to Lacey and Spokane, SCJ has offices in Centralia, Seattle, Ballard, Vancouver, and Wenatchee, Wash. and another in Boulder, Colo.last_img read more