Return to Headlines

Freshmen of MC2STEM High School are ready to help Cleveland become a more Safe and Clean Enviornment



The freshmen student class of MC2Stem High School, located inside the Great Lakes Science Center, is on a brainstorming mission to answer their first quarter Capstone question. How do we make Cleveland a safer place to live?


Through collaboration with classmates and teachers, this class of innovative thinkers came up with the concept of linking cleanliness to crime. The connection wasn’t immediately obvious.


“At first I didn’t get the connection,” admits Mrs. Raquel Abrams-Jackson, a ninth-grade Social Science teacher and educator of the Capstone and Project Citizen initiatives, “But then the students came back with data that supported their theory that says ‘yes, there is a link between litter and crime,’ and after seeing that, I was all in.”


As scholars gained the confidence of staff members to move forward in their efforts, they continued to assess the conditions of the city of Cleveland, not only through data-driven research, but also with boots-on-the-ground outings.


With the support of RTA Community Engagement Specialist, Joseph Clark, the students participated in an RTA Red Line ride-along, traveling from the Stokes-Windermere station to Cleveland Hopkins Airport. The travel enabled the students to get a closeup view of the city that most had never previously observed.


“At first it was calming, because we could look out of the window and see really cool stuff moving past us really fast,” describes ninth-grade student Kendyl Sollars, “but then we could see that the windows at the Superior station were all broken out, and that was sad.”


Classmate Isaiah Bryant reflecting on his experience added, “I agree with Kendyl, and that’s why our class will clean up some of the stations. We looked at how many trash cans are at both the east and west side stations, and decided we will measure how much trash is collected in a week.”


“Then we will use the Stanford Design Method, (a methodology for creative problem solving) where we will emphasize, define, ideate, prototype, and then test our findings. We found a problem and connected it to a solution.”


The rubbish students saw littering the RTA stations, prompted a collective idea. They began the design phase of a solar-powered, proto-type trashcan lid, that will also utilize censors and Bluetooth features. This yet-to-be named device will be used for public trash can lids and to promote a cleanliness campaign throughout Cleveland at RTA stations.


When trash is placed into the can, the censor will detect it and pleasantly respond, “Thank You.” If trash hits the ground near the can, a voice recording coming from the Bluetooth device will politely ask for the discarded items to be placed inside the can.


Gaining momentum in their project support, MC2STEM freshmen have caught the attention of the creative directors of the Better Climate Challenge Road Show.


Now in season two, this YouTube production crew is focusing on the city of Cleveland, as they travel across the country visiting Better Climate Challenge partners.  This initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, highlights innovative approaches to renewable energy and global warming concerns.


“The students are ready to answer the questions and engage in conversation,” said Environmental Science teacher Mr. Dugan. Recently, he watched as his classroom transformed into a stage, and his students become energized by the lights, cameras, and actions of the video production crew.


The energy, creativity, and environmental awareness of freshmen students at MC2STEM is readily apparent. They are prepared to follow their project motto, which was coined by classmates Mekhi Belivs and Austin Hamilton, “Be clean, be green, be part of the recycling team.”


“We are so excited to see how the students have worked together,” says Assistant Principal Angela Jordan, “This is a great opportunity for MC2STEM to be an actual part of the Science Center, and not just occupy space,” she observed.


Anyone wishing to see a prototype of the device in action, is encouraged to attend the Exhibition of Learning Gallery Walk on Thursday, October 5th, 2023, on the lower level of the Great Lakes Science Center, from 9 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.. The exhibition will include expert panelists and District partners.