Tuesday, June 6, 2017

6A-8 The Carbon Footprint of Food

 In a 6th grade science class, we were told to make a maker faire project targeting an environmental issue, and show a possible solution in a fun, interactive way. So being the imaginative geniuses that we are, we thought to ourselves, “Hey, what could possibly go wrong with making a poster about CARBON FOOTPRINT? Yeah that’s definitely not too general an issue. Let’s do it!”


Of course, it didn’t go well. About halfway through our poster creation one of us said,”Hey hold on a second, isn’t this project supposed to be kind of-- interactive?”. (Cough. Cough.) There was a pretty awkward silence. Scratch that, this silence was REALLY awkward. I mean, I was pretty sure one of us was just going to burst into tears any moment. So we brainstormed. How we could make a project about carbon footprint interactive? It was just too broad a topic. So naturally, despite our stupidity, we finally figured out that we needed to narrow down our topic. Well we were feeling pretty hungry by now, (At least I was, because I didn’t have breakfast.) So on an impulse, we decided to center our project around the carbon footprint of food. After all, we were fairly sure that people eat food on a daily basis. (We forgot to check.) So we got to work. 

We decided that we would make meals that people could rank from highest carbon footprint to lowest carbon footprint, because we had already made a table of best foods for the environment in our aborted attempt at a poster. We basically just started throwing random foods from the table into the meals, and then editing the list of random foods into feasible looking meals that people might actually want to eat, specifically NOT three lamb patties thrown between two beef patties and smothered in cheese and mashed potatoes. So, everything will be well oiled and working, right? Wrong. Turns out, one of us wanted to work on making meals for the people to rank, while the other wanted to make a kind of make your own meal station. So by now, we really didn’t know what we were doing. We decided that one person would make the “Make your own meal” station, and one would make the meals. 

So about a week later, we had finished our project. Fine and dandy. The work was done! The ordeal was over. We finished putting card stock on the food pictures, and went outside to set up our maker fare station. You know something? Setting up a maker faire station is actually surprisingly hard. We got down stairs, got out our stuff headed over to the table, and… nothing. We didn’t know how to prop up our poster. You see, we had forgotten to actually make something for the station’s stability. I guess we just figured that the poster would magically stand up by itself. Nope. Not even close. The maker fare was starting in about five minutes, and we still didn’t know how to put up our station. Oops. That was pretty stupid. We looked at each other. We looked away. Then we ran. We sprinted up the stairs of the Q Lab, burst into the science room, and looked around wildly for some form of sturdy material. 

Well it was about then that a very helpful fellow walked in: Julian R. Unlike us, Julian actually KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING. He also happened to know where we could find cardboard, which was exactly what we had so intelligently neglected to find. We grabbed our cardboard, and rushed down the stairs. By the time we got to our table, the maker fare had already started. How convenient. It must have looked very strange to everyone to see two students desperately attempting to tape a multitude of papers onto a large cardboard piece, and yelling at each other in the vague hope that one of us had some semblance of a plan that would save our stupid hides. 

Anyways, we finally managed to get the stupid thing propped up, which left us about five minutes to frantically look at other people and their projects before we had to man our station. Our method of inducing people to come to our station was something like this: one of us would step up with a yardstick and gesture wildly at our project yelling,”Step right up, step right up folks! Try your hand at the wonderful meal ranking station!”like it was a circus exhibit or something. Anyway, folks eventually came to the station, probably because they were annoyed at us for yelling, and just wanted to get us to shut up. The station didn’t go too badly, if I do say so myself, although it wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be, due to the fact that our brains are the size of shriveled prunes. But hey, it worked. And in the end, it kind of came up being a metaphor for humanity and our newfound struggle to save the environment, because just like humanity, we don’t really know what we’re doing.

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