By Edgar Lopez
East Los Angeles College was more than Husky-green as students from various schools learned about environmental awareness at ELAC’s Earth Day event on April 13.
The event started in the women’s gym, which hosted guest speakers.
Armando Rivera, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement Director, made the effort to make Earth Day a big event.
Rivera said he elected Crist Khachikian, Ph.D., as the keynote speaker, as he has done in the past with speakers from University of Southern California and other universities.
Khachikian, a professor of civil engineering and director of Energy and Sustainability at California State University¸ Los Angeles, tried to motivate middle and high school students by getting them interested in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
He informed students of the importance that STEM plays in our environment.
“Imagine a world without electricity,” said Khachikian. “Imagine a world without shoes.”
Scientists are still trying to cope with what represents a big challenge in terms of finding the source of energy that is not only safe, durable, replaceable and low cost, but also environmentally friendly, said Khachikian.
When the guest speakers finished, students headed to the stadium parking lot where various booths were set up with information about what their companies or organizations do to help keep the environment clean.
Experiments from saving energy to creating alternative energy, were some that students could experience.
Solar photovoltaic power systems have been installed at ELAC with the help of Chevron Energy Solutions, who designed the system.
These systems, located on carport structures at the stadium lot, provide the school with one megawatt of solar energy.
The Edison representative said they have a lot of programs to help save energy by putting more efficient air conditioners.
She said one of Edison’s campaigns that everyone can participate in is to turn off lights.
“Please conserve…..TURN OFF LIGHTS When You leave,” read a button that the Edison representative was passing out.
The public got various mementos to remind everyone that they can contribute toward cleaning the environment.
Kevin Bryan, a science teacher at Wilson High School, said that the celebration was better than last year’s.
He liked how there was more campus involvement from ELAC and CSULA.
The event was sponsored by various companies and agencies including Toyota, Southern California Edison, Metro and the California Institute of Technology.
Jorge Dueñas, Christina Galvon, Saul Gonzalez, Karen Pinilla, Cindy Rodriguez and Chris Valles contributed to this story.