The East Bay Academy for Young Scientists, a program of the Lawrence Hall of Science, is contributing to pollution reduction efforts here in the East Bay. This summer, while conducting water quality research in their East Oakland community as part of an EBAYS summer program, participating youth found unnaturally high levels of nitrates and traces of chlorine in the local Courtland Creek, leading them to suspect a sewage leak into the creek. They presented their findings to employees of the Oakland Public Works Department, who responded by taking measures aimed at closing off the leak. Read the synopsis of their study and the data they presented here.
Courtland Creek runs from the Oakland Hills through East Oakland and is very close to home for many participants. Demonstrating how useful scientific research can be in terms of addressing relevant issues is one of the main goals of EBAYS. Instructor Humberto Bracho of EBAYS noted that because they are investigating local issues, the issues become very important and the youth see themselves as contributing to bettering their communities.
“I’ve always liked science, but I didn’t like reading out of the textbook. EBAYS’ hands-on (experiences) and demonstrations and field trips are what I like. We did a trip to help rebuild gardens, and it got me thinking of ways that I can help the environment.”
Read the Oakland Local article about EBAYS' work at Courtland Creek.
EBAYS was also recently featured in a piece that appeared in the Huffington Post, which cited an EBAYS study on particulate matter in San Francisco BART stations as an example of efforts that contribute to greater insight regarding the relationship between air pollution levels and Bay Area asthma rates.
The East Bay Academy for Young Scientists promotes the development of important science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills for young people from marginalized communities. Learn more about the program.