My final project was a study to find out what students' ideas were on the carbon emissions of the average car. Being college students, we have cars to drive us to jobs, grocery store, and to entertainment venues. We also use these automobiles to transport us between RPI and home. It can also be assumed that the closer that we live to RPI, the more trips we make between home and school. This project was an opportunity to involve the students at RPI and make a link between their home towns and the school in a display of the automobile trip.
I used one of my classes as my project group and first asked them to put on a blue dot how many pounds of CO2 they think is emitted from an average car per mile driven. I then collected the dots and passed out dots of different colors to the class. The color that the student received depended upon where they lived in the United States: the East Coast, Midwest, or the West Coast. I then told them the amount of CO2 emitted per mile (1.10 lbs) and asked them to multiply that by the distance in between school and home. I had them post both their blue dots and their colored dots on a board to display their work and participation.
It is interesting to see how much carbon is emitted per trip even when the majority of the students in the class live on the east coast. Considering how many students there are at RPI and their distances between here and home not to mention the amount of trips made in between the two, it is staggering to understand the amount of automobile emissions that are being put into the atmosphere. We are a community here at RPI and it is important to be aware of what we are doing to ourselves, nature, and the global environment. Without awareness, the world will come to an end, and communities as we know it will cease to exist.