Green Corps Interns’ Personal Projects

Tue., Jul. 27, 2021

By Margaret Cook, Communications Specialist

It has now been five weeks since the Green Corps interns from Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) started their program at Holden Forests & Gardens! They have learned so much about living a sustainable life and most importantly, how to bring the tips and tricks they learned with the Green Corps program back to their communities. Having young individuals interested in science is so important now more than ever. The Green Corps program allows interns to develop a deeper understanding of green jobs and how they protect the beautiful world we live in.

This week, the interns were given the chance to create their own personal projects where they collected plant samples and found different ways to study them. I was lucky enough to sit down with each intern to talk about their projects, and how their findings relate to the overall goal of the internship. Below are some more insights on the projects that Madison, Serenity, and Aashi have been working on!

Diseased Plant Identification

Maddison Willoughby

Can you describe the project you have been working on?

Madison Willoughby (MW): “My project was taking plant samples, like roses and other flowers that were dying and trying to find out what was causing the disease. I used a microscope to look for details to see if anything looked wrong on the plant, and then did some research on the internet to try to identify what disease could be harming the plant.”

What was your favorite part about the project?

MW: “My favorite part of this project was getting to look at the plant up-close under the microscope and getting to take note of all the tiny details. It was somewhat difficult to find out what the exact disease was for each plant because the symptoms were not always clear, but it was just another step in the learning process.”

Why did you choose to observe different diseased plants?

MW: “I chose to do this project because I wanted to do something that had to do with pests or diseases because I am hoping to study Microbiology. I really wanted to focus on the medical applications for this type of project and hopefully refer back to it in the future.”

Compost Testing

Serenity Ortiz

Can you describe the project you have been working on?

Serenity Ortiz (SO):”For my project, I chose to test out two different types of compost. One jar had worms in the soil, and the other does not. I am using tomatoes in fully composted soil already to see which one decomposes the fastest. So far, it looks like the worms have broken down the soil more and the tomato is almost gone.”

What was your favorite part about the project?

SO: “My favorite part about this project is seeing how the worms act in the soil. I do not mind handling the critters so I enjoyed seeing their natural actions.”

Why did you choose to test different types of composting methods?

SO: “I was inspired to do this project because of what I have learned in the internship and I even started composting in my own community. I want to share this with more people and take my experiences and what I have learned so far with Green Corps into an experiment to see how I can share this with others. The purpose of the project is to better my skills at composting because I do not want to kill more worms!”

Aquatic Plants

Aashi Parikh

Can you describe the project you have been working on?

Aashi Parikh (AP): “For my project, I took an aquatic plant and tested how it lives in different levels of water. I went to the pond at the Children’s Garden and was inspired by the plants living in the water to see how they would react if given different measurements of water.”

What was your favorite part about the project?

AP: “My favorite part about this project was watching the plants decompose over time and seeing the whole process.”

Why did you choose to test different aquatic plants?

AP: “This relates to the career I want to do which is Marine Biology and I would hope to test different plants and animals that live in the water and study how they live and grow!”

Overall, all of the interns discovered new ways to relate the information they have been learning through the Green Corps program to their own lives. Each intern showed off their abilities to create and successfully execute various experiments to give them a better understanding of the environment we live in.

Margaret Cook

Communications Specialist


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