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Port of Seattle aids with Sophomore Environmental Challenge Project

Reflections on assistance from Seattle ports and ECP’s

By Samatar Hashi

Sophomores finished the Environmental Challenge Project (ECP) with guidance from teachers and the Seattle Ports.


Troy Hoehne the Current Global Issues teacher had a major role with the Sophomore ECP’s and the Seattle Ports. He also makes sure the sophomores research a different topic every year for the ECP.


“Each year is different, each year they deal with a different issue that the port of Seattle is dealing with,” said Hoehne. “This year they had three tracks of land more or less surrounding the airport that are unused and they wanted to know how the students would use them. Next year it will be something different and it varies from year to year.”


Ravi Sangani a junior whose team came in second place last year had a big impact on them winning.


Ravi played many roles in his team because all the jobs connected in someway.


“In the ECP, my role was the technical writer,” said Sangani. “But it progressed to a lot more than that throughout the course of the project, as all of us took on responsibilities that spilled over onto other roles.”


Sophomores are judged by their teachers and by officials from the Seattle ports. They are not only graded on the presentation but also the overall work with their team members.


“A lot of things go into the judging, we the three teachers, we observe what’s going on throughout the whole progress, the research, the interaction with the team members,” said Hoehne. “Then it culminates with the presentation they give to a group of industry professionals, some from the port some from the district.”


Sangani’s team used creative ideas and worked very hard to get second place.


“Our idea was unique and innovative; it was different from every other group. Basically, we advocated for a terminal-runway vehicle called TaxiBot. We also developed the idea of creating a radar map of the airfield, by positioning propagation mechanisms throughout the field, that would be view-able in every cockpit,” said Sangani.  “My team figured out early on that every group had relatively the same idea, so the only way to win was to get something outside the box.”


Sangani had a lot confidence that his team would be in the top three groups that would win.

“I definitely knew that my team would place somewhere in top 3 due to our out-of-the-box ideas,” said Sangani. “Most groups had identical proposals, so anything even slightly different put you at a great advantage.”


RAHS has been having the Sophomore ECP for many years and they usually start the project toward the end of the year.


“This year we started right after we came back from spring break,” said Hoehne, “and this was also the tenth year for school history”


Doing this project helps students interact with professional  people doing real world problems.

“Well I think it’s a really good opportunity for both the school and the students to interact with what we always refer to as the real world,” said Hoehne.

For Aviation students the project helps them with their future because and they get to see the vast workforce of the airport.

“I think it gives them the benefit of seeing how the airport interacts with the community,” said Hoehne, “and also gives them the opportunity to see that there is a lot more jobs at an airport then being a pilot or a mechanic”


Hoehne and Ravi have different opinions on the Seattle ports and also the sophomore ECP’s.


“In all honesty, I didn’t benefit much from this project. Sure, it was fun and somewhat interesting, but nothing substantial really came out of it,” said Sangani. “If anything, I learned more about SeaTac Airport and its vast plethora of incessant issues.”


The people in charge are both from the school and from the Seattle ports.


“Well the port of Seattle at the Seatac airport they kind of spearheaded each year,” said Hoehne, “and then the three sophomore teachers are the heads of it here [RAHS].”


Sangani has positive and negative thoughts about the Seattle Ports and the ECP project.


“I have a complicated view on the Port of Seattle. I have heard stories of them taking student’s ideas without giving them any credit, and the entire project is fabricated in a way which makes you feel as if they are simply allocating their work to the students, without much compensation,” said Sangani. “At the same time however, I respect the opportunity they give students through their internship program.”


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