One minute I am sitting in Argentina at the end of my study abroad dreading the return to the Detroit suburbs and the next I am told that I was chosen for an internship at the EPA. I found out quite last minute but that just made it all the more exciting. Good news is I am learning more than I could have imagined and am having a great experience.
One of my favorite experiences so far was working the EPA booth at the Taste of Chicago. This is one of many festivals that bring people from all over to the city during the summer. The EPA often has information and activity booths at festivals all over the country.
Although it was raining, we eagerly unloaded the van of the Environmental Jeopardy board I had worked on for about a week and the Energy Star bike which were our main attractions at the Taste this year. I was a little nervous about how appealing the Jeopardy game would be to kids and told myself I would be happy if kids stayed long enough to answer more than one question. The questions were in categories like Energy Issues, H2O, and Climate Change and the kids got to choose which category they wanted just like real Jeopardy. To my delight most kids wouldn’t leave until they answered all of the questions. There were kids all the way from 4 years old to 18 years old and there wasn’t a moment of silence at my table. It was really rewarding to see that so many kids were interested in the environment. Our EPA kids’ websites are a great place for kids to learn about different environmental issues. With the Energy Star bike on the other end of the table, EPA’s booth turned out to be a great success and seemed to have reached lots of kids of all ages as well as their parents.
My EPA experience will have been short but sweet. Soon I’ll be back in Michigan but I do plan to stay involved with my new found passion for Environmental Education.
About the author: Kelly Archer is an intern working with Environmental Education and Indoor Air Programs in Region 5. She is a junior at Michigan State University working on a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy.