Southland CAPS: Less Lights, More Ice
By LeAnna Jakobe, SMA Senior

Southland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (Southland CAPS) is a local program serving the school districts of Lee’s Summit,  Hickman Mills, Belton, Raymore Peculiar, and Raytown. At Southland CAPS, students have the choice to choose from 3 different strands: Animal Health Science, Technology Solutions, and Education Exploration. Starting the 2020-2021 school year, students will be able to also choose from the Business Innovation and Creation strand and the Turf Management and Horticulture strand. 

The area of my focus has been in the Animal Health strand.  This is where students gain experience through professional based learning, develop professional skills, experience self discovery, and grow entrepreneurial mindsets. The Animal Health class meets at the Kansas City Zoo five times a week. 

The Animal Health strand of Southland CAPS had the opportunity to visit St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School to present the idea about reducing their carbon footprint to save the polar bears. The initiative was called “Less Lights, More Ice”, because a significant amount of energy used in the world heats up the ozone layer and causes global warming. This is what causes the ice to melt. It affects the polar bears habitat because they travel from ice sheet to ice sheet looking for food, causing a significant decrease in the polar bear population. The idea proposed was for St. Michael teachers to use less lights in their classrooms and switch to natural lights, or lamps. CAPS suggested a variety of options including desk lamps and clamp on lamps. The entire class attended and presented the idea to the teachers and administration. CAPS made a series of posters to hang around the school advertising the project, provided an initiative to the teachers who participate, and made the initiative into a school community competition. This simple initiative is a good and easy way to help reduce carbon footprint and help save the polar bears.

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