After I was successful in making the biodegradable straws, I was motivated to demonstrate its usefulness to students at my high school. The first step was to convince the staff to allow me to do a presentation. My teachers Ms. Ra Dana, Mrs. Kautz Nanette, and Mrs. Shelby Smith were very impressed and encouraged me to bring environmental awareness to a group of high school students. They helped to organize a workshop to demonstrate and explain my project, Goodbye Plastic Straws, Hello Eco-Friendly Straws!
I started of by making a presentation to show how plastic straws are environmentally harmful and provided the carbon footprint of plastic straws. After the presentation, I demonstrated to the students of Science Bowl and Leadership class how to make straws from palm leaves. Many students volunteered and joined me and learned how to weave straws. We ended up making several straws at the workshop and the students had the opportunity to test the straws they made at the workshop.
After the workshop, the students were extremely engaged and provided insightful suggestions. The students from the science bowl class were enthusiastic to improve the durability of the straws when used in hot and cold beverages for extended period. Some students suggested to make food grade glue made from pine tree sap mixed with ash. I am currently experimenting this idea and will post the progress in future blogs.