Eighth-Grade Holly Thorpe Received Rotary Award For Inspiring Miami-Dade School District To Transition To Electric School Bus
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Since I posted the article Benefits of Switching School Buses From Diesel To Electric in 2019, I’ve been paying extra attention to any report about school buses going electric. Therefore, it is such a pleasure to come across the news posted in islandernenws.com about an eighth grade student, Holly Thorpe, at MAST Academy in Key Biscayne, whose science fair entry led to her successfully convincing Miami-Dade school district to transition to an all-electric fleet of bus buses.
Holly Thorpe made a science project to show the dangers of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions surrounding school buses, and its effect on climate change. Even though Thorpe’s hypothesis was that the CO2 levels would be significant outside the buses at the bus loop (they were measured to be at 1,000 ppm (particles per million) when the acceptable levels are around 450 ppm), but surprisingly, it was the levels inside the buses that were much worse. With up to 5,000 ppm of CO2 measured inside the school buses, it was clear that Thorpe had found a far more serious problem inside the school bus. CO2 of levels at 5,000 ppm can cause asthma, nausea, headaches, and dizziness for students and bus drivers.
“So, although my hypothesis was not correct, it proved that we have two very important reasons why green should be the new yellow,” said Holly Thorpe.
As a result of Holly Thorpe’s findings, the Miami-Dade School District decided to switch to electric school buses in the future. The funding for the electric school buses is coming from the Volkswagen Settlement Fund. Transitioning to electric school buses will improve the health of all students and bus drivers riding the school buses, as well as help school district to reduce the cost of fuel and maintenance of school buses’ operations. Due to Holly Thorpe’s outstanding contribution to the community, the Key Biscayne Rotary awarded her the Paul Harris Fellowship, one of the highest honors the Rotary can bestow upon a person and it is named after the founder of the Rotary.
Middle school student Holly Thorpe’s science fair project measured CO2 levels inside and outside school buses – and her findings were a catalyst for the change. The funding for the electric school buses is coming from the Volkswagen Settlement Fund, which provides money for zero emission vehicles after the company admitted it cheated emission tests, in the video published on Feb 2, 2021, “‘I got my Florida school district to convert to electric buses’“, below:
Take a closer look at our LionC all electric school bus with Richard Lee and Peter Tuckerman, in the video published on Apr 2, 2021, “LionC all electric school bus walk around“, below:
In addition to being a much cleaner, healthier and efficient vehicle, electric school bus would also help school districts to reduce the cost of fuel and maintenance, as indicated in the video published on May 19, 2021, “How Much Does It Cost To Fuel A School Bus in 2021?“
Now, let’s take a look at how another state, California, is transitioning to electric school buses, in the video published on Apr 10, 2019, “Inside California Education: Charged – America’s Largest Electric School Bus Fleet“, below:
So, students and parents from all 50 states, have your school districts transitioned to electric school buses yet? Remember: each and every one of you may have the potential of bringing about positive change to help speed up our transition toward renewable energy and a cleaner and healthier future. In so doing, you would also be able to help slow down the climate change.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
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