Pali High Hosts 15th Annual Earth Day Carnival

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Four hundred students from Palisades Charter Elementary School were invited to the Palisades Charter High School campus on Thursday, April 25, to learn about all things Earth Day during a student-led carnival.

Pali High’s Honors Marine Biology and AP Environmental Science classes created environmental-themed booths and games to teach visiting elementary-aged students about issues relating to the earth and its inhabitants, Pali High Science Department Chair and Marine Biology teacher Karyn Newbill explained. 

“We try to keep it light,” Newbill said of the more than 25 booths that were created. She told her class to “pick some marine biology topics that you want to teach little kids in a fun way that would be interactive, appropriate for their age and not too dark.”

Newbill accepted proposals from students and narrowed down ideas that she felt would be a good fit. 

The AP Environmental Science class, led by teacher Steven Engelmann, had booths with information about soil and planting seeds, air quality, and light pollution.

“In my group, we had a penguin obstacle course, which was adorable,” Newbill said. “Anything physical, these kids are loving it.”

Other memorable booths included a pin the tail on the donkey-esque game, which had students pinning fins on fish, as well as throwing sponges with paint water at a Pali High student wearing a smock resulting in a Jackson Pollock-style work of art.

Pali Elementary requested that there be no candy prizes, so Pali High students instead handed out high-fives, little pots to plant seeds in and reusable straws.

“Using my classroom money, I bought every kid that came a reusable lunch bag,” Newbill said. Last year, her gift was a metal water bottle.

Some of the juniors and seniors who had booths this year attended the carnival when they were at Pali Elementary.

“I write this into my budget every year,” Newbill explained. “It gets the local kids and traveling kids excited about where they’re going to high school—hopefully I get them in Marine Biology.”