FlexFriday Covanta Tour

Our FlexFriday tour for Friday, October 7 was to the Covanta Union facility in Rahway, NJ.FlexFridays combine learning and community for special hands-on tours and lectures.

FlexSchool would like to thank Covanta – Rahway, NJ, Todd Frace, Chief Engineer and Brie Parker, Marketing Manager for a very fun and interesting FlexFriday learning experience.

We began our tour with a very informative presentation by Todd Frace, Chief Engineer. He explained the process our trash goes through to become electricity but first, we all learned about the safety gear we would need to tour the facility. With hards hats, safety vests, and goggles on we were ready to watch trash turn into energy.

All the collected waste begins the journey on the Tipping Floor. From here it travels to the ovens with advanced filtration to destroy the fumes. After this it is turned into electricity. We learned this facility processes 1500 tons of solid waste EACH DAY which creates enough electricity to power 30,000 homes! It is also environmentally friendly to turn waste into energy. According to the U.S. EPA, for every ton of municipal solid waste processed at Energy-from-Waste facilities, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by approximately one ton. This is due to the avoidance of methane from landfills, the offset of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel electrical production and the recovery of metals for recycling.

 

Watch the video below to get a sneak peek into our FlexFriday tour!

 

Semih Bulbul – Syrian Refugee Crisis

On Friday, September 30, our students were treated to a very special Skype session with Semih Bulbul of the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees. He explained his humanitarian work involving the Syrian refugee crisis and answered student questions. Semih was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey. He was hired by UNHCR in 1988 and began working in the Ankara office. In 1992, UNHCR sent him on a mission for 9 months to Cambodia during which he met his future wife. After 10 years in the Ankara office, Semih left Turkey and has since been posted in Kosovo, Macedonia, Iraq, Bosnia, Switzerland, and is now on a second mission in Iraq (since early 2014).

Mr. Bulbul answered questions on topics such as “What is a typical day in a refugee camp?” and “How do they help orphans?”

After we hung up with Semih we located the conflict on a map and discussed the historical origins of conflict in the region. The students also discussed how youth could participate to make a positive impact on the humanitarian crisis.

One student was so moved by the presentation, she has changed her FlexSchool community impact project to designing ways to help with the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Tiki Love Farm Metal Detecting

On September 23, students visited Tiki Love Farm to learn about how metal detectors work and their proper usage. After their lesson, the students explored the woods for buried objects.

Thank you Tiki Love Farm for an enlightening and fun FlexFriday event!