A few weeks ago, students at The Hun School participated in NextTerm 2022, their three-week experiential mini-semester that provides students with an opportunity to examine some of the more pressing issues and ideas of our time. NextTerm courses for 10th and 11th graders explored a variety of real-world topics from “After The Storm”, the changing landscape and political unrest of Puerto Rico, to “Built With STEAM”, how the elements of design, physics, and mathematics create the happiest place on Earth. During the final week of the mini-semester, students participated in NeXPo, a public exposition where students presented their findings and group projects.
The “Green by Design” course flew across the pond to one of the top five greenest countries in the world to examine past, present, and future initiatives that have helped the United Kingdom gain this recognition. During their travels, students discovered a UK-based app called Refill; the platform allows users access to refillable water stations across the globe. When students witnessed the effects of the Refill app in real time, they immediately knew that the app would be hugely beneficial to the town of Princeton. The students immediately took action upon their return.
Hun students visited nearly every restaurant on Nassau Street to educate and recruit partners for a greener planet. In just one day, they received commitments from roughly twenty-five restaurants in downtown Princeton including Small World Coffee, Playa Bowls, Starbucks, and Jammin Crepes. Students also created stickers for each establishment to put on their front door to enhance brand recognition. The businesses committed to having a presence on the app and welcome any member of the public who wishes to refill a water bottle on site.
Small World Coffee co-owner Jessica Durrie notes that the Small World Coffee team is excited to join Hun students on this initiative: “We strongly believe in and support this sustainability initiative which hopefully lowers the use of disposable plastic and encourages the use of reusable bottles and tumblers in our community.”
Green by Design student Kerem Koyluoglu ’23 notes that he was particularly inspired to bring his new knowledge back to the states after a trip with his class to The Eden Project, a global garden that demonstrates humans dependence on plants and the interconnectedness of nature and humanity.
“Visiting The Eden Project was really eye-opening because you don’t really think about the effects that your actions have on the other side of the world but when you see it first hand it really makes you rethink your daily actions,” Kerem said.
Students in the course also created an Instagram account and website to market to consumers and stakeholders about their mission to a sustainable planet.
“The goal of our final project was to create a way to dramatically reduce the number of single-use plastics in Princeton,” Kerem said. “Bottles are the number one single-use plastic in America so we figured that by giving Princeton locals and business owners an opportunity to avoid buying water bottles and instead use the Refill app to find refillable water stations in their town then we can really do good for the environment.”