Mt. SAC Early College Academy Freshmen Brainstorm Environmental Solutions

Mt. SAC Early College Academy freshmen presented compelling evidence at the Academy’s second annual Environmental Solutions Fair of the detrimental effects of man’s interaction with nature and advanced their own solutions.

Held Nov. 8 at Mt. SAC, the fair featured presentations on topics such as rhino poaching, acid rain, deforestation, burial methods, single-use plastics and cyanide fishing, researched by 29 student teams for their first major cross-curricular, college-level project at the Academy.

Fiorella Baffini was part of a three-student group that studied the potential effects of a nuclear meltdown, spreading their conclusions among English, math, biology and physical education. A mosaic art piece championed the use of solar power.

“We chose this topic because we all wanted to know what could happen during a real meltdown,” Baffini said. “The Academy is not like any other high school; it introduces us to the rigor of college classes from the beginning, giving us a head start.”

Students presented their group projects – 29 in total – for grading earlier in the week and then presented them for family members, fellow students and a panel of West Covina Unified and Mt. SAC administrators. Projects were judged for their oral presentation, display boards, PowerPoint, video public service announcement and art representation.

Jaden Nguyen, Michaela Chung, and Nicholas Caston captured the award for Best Overall Project, impressing a panel of Mt. SAC and West Covina Unified administrators with “Operation Save the Sea Turtles.”

Melissa Warawita .Lauren Pate and Sophia Goreen present research on pollinator decline .

Mt. SAC Early College Academy freshmen Melissa Warawita .Lauren Pate and Sophia Goreen present research on pollinator decline at the second annual Environmental Solutions fair, held Nov. 8.

An art installation by Lauren Pate, Sophia Goreen and Melissa Warawita – highlighting pollinator decline by depicting a thriving transportable garden made of recycled materials – earned the Best Art Project award. Paulina Davalos, Dara Lopez, and Maya Quintero won Best PSA for a video on how marine pollution led to the formation of “Trash Island.”

Mt. SAC Early College Academy, a dual-enrollment public high school, provides students with the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and up to two years of transferable college credit simultaneously.

The Academy is accepting mid-year transfer applications for January 2020 enrollment and 2020-21 enrollment applications for freshmen and sophomores. High schoolers from Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties are eligible to apply.