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Energy & Transportation

How we generate energy and how we use it, are both important to climate change. Additionally, how we travel from destination to destination also contributes to climate change. The YCA community impact projects featured here focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are created from the energy and transportation sectors through sustainable solutions.

Uncovering Climate Change Data in San Mateo County

Community Impact Project Leads – Joshua H. (Crystal Springs Upland School)

Project Description: In this project, Joshua did research on the information needed to help explain the relationship between San Mateo County residents and climate change’s impact locally. Joshua plans to share this information with local cities and towns at council meetings to elevate the ideas quantified to educate and encourage more climate action at the resident level. 

Read Joshua’s Case Study

Woodside Priory’s First Ever Climate Summit

Community Impact Project Leads – Alexis L. (Woodside Priory)

Project Description: In this project, Alexis developed the design and content as well as hosted both her peers and guest speakers at her high school’s first ever Climate Summit. This event gathered Priory stakeholders to learn about the climate crisis locally and identify solutions that can make a positive impact moving forward. 

Read Alexis’ Case Study

Sustainable Transportation Survey at Love Our Earth Fest 2023

Community Impact Project Leads – Dylan C. (Menlo-Atherton High School) and Kian Bhatt (Carlmont High School)

Project Description: In this project, Kian and Dylan teamed up to develop a survey on how people commute to school and work. They shared this survey both in person at the Love Our Earth Fest hosted at Menlo-Atherton High School and online to share information about why it is so important to find other ways to commute more sustainability throughout our County. 

Read Dylan’s Case Study

Read Kian’s Case Study

Alternative Transportation Survey at Design Tech

Community Impact Project Leads – Jaden L. and Nicholas L. (Design Tech High School)

Project Description: In this project, Nick and Jaden teamed up to survey their peers on how they commute to school. They hosted an alternative transportation day encouraging everyone to walk, bike or use public transportation to get to D-Tech along with a donut celebration to acknowledge their peers’ efforts. 

Read Jaden’s Case Study

Read Nick’s Case Study

Energy Alternative Education in San Mateo County

Community Impact Project Leads – Luke S. (Menlo-Atherton High School)

Project Description: In this project, Luke shared research and key findings about energy alternatives at an Earth Day festival hosted at his high school. His presentation included reasons why clean energy matters and the different types of clean energy available with existing technology along with recommendations for future implementation. 

Read Luke’s Case Study

Sustainability Dashboard Proposal for San Mateo Unified High School District

Community Impact Project Leads – Carly P., Misha I., Shailee S., Stella W. (Burlingame High School)

Project Description: In this project, students learned from County Office of Education staff on how best to propose ideas on the impending Sustainability Dashboard for the San Mateo Unified High School District. Students developed a design  for the dashboard, highlighted data that should be shared and offered their recommendations to their school and district. 

Read Carly’s Case Study

Read Misha’s Case Study

Read Shailee’s Case Study

Read Stella’s Case Study

Sustainable Transportation and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Advocacy

Community Impact Project Leads – Charlotte Rosario and Daniel Rosario (The Nueva School)

Project Description: In this project, students teamed up with San Mateo Climate Action Team to support the education and awareness campaign to bring residents of San Mateo County up to speed on carbon footprint reduction measures by supporting virtual and in person presentations, creating outreach materials and working with adults in the climate action space in the city of San Mateo. These students also led this discussion by example with sharing their unique experience updating a car to run more efficiently and sustainably. 

Read Charlotte’s Case Study

Read Daniel’s Case Study

Energy Efficiency Advocacy at Carlmont High School

Community Impact Project Leads – Anamika D., Dariyan K., Haley B., Joel S., Kara K., Mason C., Niharika P. and Nolan K. (Carlmont High School) 

Project Description: In this project, students worked together with fellow YCA students attending Carlmont High School to discuss energy efficiency at a public school board meeting. They also established an online petition that was shared with the school community and teamed up to table at an Earth Week event at Carlmont High School, planned in part by YCA Alumni and the Carlmont Green Team. 

Petition Group – 

Read Anamika’s Case Study

Read Joel’s Case Study

Read Mason’s Case Study

Read Niharika’s Case Study

Solar Panel Advocacy Group – 

Read Dariyan’s Case Study

Read Haley’s Case Study

Read Kara’s Case Study

Read Nolan’s Case Study

Energy Efficiency Advocacy at Burlingame Farmers Market

Community Impact Project Leads – Armand Foroughi (Serra High School), Bethany Zhao (Oceana High School), Casey Liu (Oceana High School), Shreya Puri (Design Tech)

Project Description: In this project, students came together across multiple schools to team up and educate the public on energy efficiency. The team selected to engage the Burlingame community at their weekly farmers market to incentivize energy efficiency with answering trivia questions correctly and being rewarded with an eco-conscious prize for the participant. 

Read Armand’s Case Study

Read Bethany’s Case Study 

Read Casey’s Case Study

Read Shreya’s Case Study

Energy Efficiency Classroom Model at Oceana High School

Community Impact Project Lead – Arseni Siankevich (Oceana High School) 

Project Description: In this project, this student sought to create a model of what a sustainable and energy efficient classroom looks like at Oceana High School. The student worked with facilities staff and site administration to procure LED light bulbs for a classroom and created a survey to assess student awareness on energy issues and their connection to the climate crisis. 

Read Arseni’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Leads – Devak Pardisani, Oscar Morganstern, Zack Tuzar and Elle Rau (San Mateo and Notre Dame High Schools) 

Project Description: For this project, this group of students chose to address equity issues surrounding bike transportation in San Mateo County. This group worked together and with many local organizations to facilitate a bike donation program that helped get alternative (and fun) transportation options to youth in San Mateo County, starting with the Boys and Girls Club participants in the East Palo Alto area. They hope to continue this work as they have recently become a local non-profit entitled “Bikes4theBay”. 

Read Devak’s Case Study

Read Oscar’s Case Study

Read Zack’s Case Study

Read Elle’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Leads – Katherine Yu and Madeleine Cunningham (Carlmont High School)

Project Description: For this project, Katherine and Madeleine wanted to learn more about what localized climate action looks like and educate others while in the learning process. The intent of this project was to distribute information and inspire more youth to get involved in the climate action movement. This documentary featured participants from both the 2020 and 2021 YCA cohort as well as an individual serving on Youth v. Apocalypse. 

Read Katherine’s Case Study

Read Madeleine’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Lead – Kylie Holzman (Burlingame High School)

Project Description: For this project, Kylie wanted to get more people talking about how easy it is to opt into Peninsula Clean Energy’s ECO 100 program. To do this, Kylie partnered with Roosevelt Elementary Washington Elementary to have the conversation start with the students that attend those schools and their families. Kylie handed out coloring sheets with wind turbines to every classroom at both elementary schools and had students turn in their finished coloring sheets to win a prize. Kylie also hosted a mini coloring contest at Burlingame Parks and Recreation’s Family Campout Event in October 2021 to expand outreach to more families in Burlingame. 

Read Kylie’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Lead – Natalie Su (Carlmont High School)

Project Description: For this project, Natalie teamed up with the Redwood City School District to help with their solar panel systems at different school sites. Natalie is working to understand the current solar power infrastructure at all school sites within the district and systemically work to update these current systems. She hopes this project will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrate what it takes to implement and maintain solar energy at school sites. 

Read Natalie’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Lead – Gavin Curley (Serra High School, San Mateo)

Project Description: For this project, Gavin wanted to intersect his interest in marine ecosystems and interest in sustainable and renewable energy. He found an opportunity to work closely with aquarist staff at the Marine Science Institute in Redwood City to install solar powered light sources for the aquariums onsite. This will have an impact on the health and function of the aquariums and also provide a model of what sustainable energy resources look like in our lives in the future. 

Read Gavin’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Leads – Aarya Mukherjee & Carl Busiek (Carlmont High School)

Project Description: This project aimed to work with the Carlmont High School administration to improve energy usage on their school campus. To do this, the team met with school staff to discuss the environmental benefits of converting their classroom lights to LED automatic sensors. The team also advocated that Sequoia Union School District convert the entire district to the Peninsula Clean Energy’s Eco100 Program. Learn more about Aarya and Carl’s project below.

Read Aarya’s Case Study

Read Carl’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Leads – Ellen Kim (San Mateo High School)

Project Description: For this project, Ellen created a series of virtual educational panels for high school student. The series featured different perspectives on four climate change related topics and how it relates (and will continue to relate) to our everyday lives. The topics covered were Environmental Justice & Intersectional Environmentalism, The Future Impacts of Climate Change, Climate Activism, and Careers in Climate Change. Please visit this website for more information about the panel series and to view the recordings of past panel events. Learn more about Ellen’s project below.

Read Ellen’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Leads – Brandon Wee (Menlo Atherton High School)

Project Description: For this project, Brandon advocated for Menlo-Atherton High School to opt up to 100% renewable energy through Peninsula Clean Energy. As this project evolved throughout the pandemic, he switched the focus of this project to propose to school administration that his school adopt a dashboard tracking system for energy usage at the school. Learn more about Brandon’s project below.

Read Brandon’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Leads – Helena Landels & Isabella Christman (Sequoia High School)

Project Description: This project included a plan to educate others about energy usage by creating an energy use reduction awareness campaign at their school. Helena and Isabella advocated for their school to opt up to PCE’s ECO100 energy plan and plan to continue advocating for their school to swtich to renewable energy. They also hosted an Energy Reduction Challenge raffle at school which incentivized students to reduce their energy usage to win a prize. Learn more about Helena and Isabella’s project below.

Read Helena’s Case Study

Read Isabella’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Leads – Andrew Chu (The Nueva School) & Jack Sloan (Saint Francis High School)

Project Description: For this project, Andrew and Jack foucsed on connecting with schools that were interested in implementing, or have already implemented clean energy projects, such as purchasing solar panels, or electric vehicle charging stations. The goal behind this was to collect information about successful projects in the past and develop best practices and steps to help facilitate the process for other schools. Learn more about Andrew and Jack’s project below.

Read Andrew’s Case Study

Read Jack’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Leads – Rachel Liu (San Mateo High School) & Allyson Chan (Hillsdale High school)

Project Description: For this project, Rachel and Allyson focused on providing youth clipper cards (a card that provides access to alternative transportation like CalTrain and SamTrans) to all youth within San Mateo County, starting with the San Mateo and Hillsdale high schools. They noticed that their schools had a lot of the information that was needed to obtain a free youth clipper card and wanted to encourage their school administration to use that information to automaticlly sign up students for Clipper Cards. They also created an education and awareness campaign about climate change impacts, and solutions to reduce those impacts through transportation alternatives like taking the train or bus. Learn more about Rachel and Allyson’s project below.

Read Rachel’s Case Study

Read Allyson’s Case Study


Community Impact Project Leads – Hrudhai Umas & Tess Dakin (Burlingame High School)

Project Description: For this project, Hrudhai and Tess engaged in two different projects. The first was to administer a survey at their school to capture the current perspective of teachers and students on climate change. With more than 200 survey responses, they wrote an article for their school paper to share their findings. Read it here. The second part of their project funded the installation of energy efficient appliances in the homes of low income families with the help of Sustainable San Mateo. Learn more about Hrudhai and Tess’s project below.

Read Hrudhai’s Case Study

Read Tess’s Case Study

YCA Energy & Transportation Community Projects