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C2E2 Shares Environmental Awareness at Earth Day Spring Fling

By: Olivia Ortegon & Ben Donohue

It was a perfect day to celebrate Earth Day at UConn on April 20th, 2022. The campus was alive with students, faculty, and others enjoying the local foods and environmental organizational displays as many groups participated in UConn’s annual Earth Day Spring Fling, co-sponsored by UConn’s Office of Sustainability and UConn Dining.

C2E2 provided an educational experience by demonstrating some exciting ways clean energy is being utilized in the modern world. On-site was a fuel cell powered go-kart that members of the team were able to drive and show students how our transportation can easily be powered by alternative forms of energy.

C2E2 also hosted a photo booth where students enjoyed getting their pictures taken and showing their Earth Day spirit.

UConn’s STEAM tree was also showcased at the event. Established in 2020 as an idea from Professor Jasna Jankovic and several colleagues from engineering, industrial design, biology and sociology, UConn’s STEAM tree has blossomed into a collaborative and innovative project that will soon be available and on display for the UConn Storrs campus. The STEAM tree has many benefits, one being that it allows devices to be charged using the solar-powered tree.

“I think the concept of STEAM is really cool and would be great for the environment,” shared Jessie Webb, biology major at UConn.

When asked why clean energy is important, one student shared, “Clean energy is important because it is weaning us off of fossil fuels. I am also interested in small-scale energy production. I think it’s interesting to be able to produce the energy for a house, town, or state.”

The event was also a great opportunity for students who are not involved with clean energy research to learn more about it. “Seeing all the different passions that students have on campus and seeing how that passion can be applied to people who don’t have it, it’s all a learning experience,” shared Robert Williams, a senior engineering major.

Another student, Willow Yang, highlighted how important this event is for awareness.  “Obviously nowadays it’s [clean energy] become a hot topic with carbon neutrality and the general climate crisis.  I learned about the different initiatives professors are taking and engaging in research. As a research institute, UConn does a lot of interaction with other researchers around the globe regarding clean energy."

The Earth Day Spring Fling was a great opportunity to bring together students and organizations across the university and share the collaborative efforts to work towards a more sustainable future.

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