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Sophomores commence Environmental Challenge Project

This year’s topic elicits a variety of opinions

By Phoenix Flyer

Chipper, a Port of Seattle employee, speaks with sophomores about the vacant site's unique characteristics that may be useful during the project.

Chipper, a Port of Seattle employee, speaks with sophomores about the vacant site’s unique characteristics that may be useful during the project.

On 11 Apr. 2017, the sophomore class gathered in the Boeing Presentation Center (BPC) for the kickoff of the annual Environmental Challenge Project (ECP) in cooperation with the Port of Seattle at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.


Troy Hoehne is one of the teachers who plays a central role in the project. This year the project presents a unique, multi-faceted challenge.


“This year they’re dealing with a land-use issue. There are three tracks of land that Sea-Tac Airport [isn’t using],” said Hoehne. “Each of them is in a different location surrounding the airport proper, and the airport is trying to figure out how to best use that land, both to help with wildlife preservation and noise difficulties and also whatever expansion the airport might need.”


Hoehne is excited for the challenge this year specifically but has positive commentary about the project overall, too, especially because of its similarities to real life.


“I think it’s a very good project for the school and for the students, both. I like the idea that it’s a real-world problem,” said Hoehne. “You’re working with a real life group–in this case it’s the Port of Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport–and I like the idea that you’re sinking your teeth into something that is very genuine.”


Some students, such as sophomore Logan Lemieux, are enjoying the challenge.


“The Environmental Challenge Project offers exciting insights into the operations of both the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the complex problems it faces constantly,” said Lemieux.


Lemieux also believes that the project will help prepare him for the future.


“It will also give us some great skills for when we are college students working on similar projects, as well as whenever we go on to our careers,” said Lemieux. “All in all, I’m cautiously optimistic for the project. Sure, [it’s] work that cuts into all of our other classes, especially math, but it’ll offer some great opportunities for us to expand our horizons and face challenges that currently affect us in our general area.”


Other students, such as sophomore Lena Seidel, acknowledge both benefits and costs of the ECP.


“Unlike other projects, this issue involves actual land that we have to decide how to use [which is daunting],” said Seidel. “However, after seeing the land, I felt that the challenge was a lot more manageable than I felt it was during the kickoff.”


However, some students, like sophomore Mateo Peña, are less than ecstatic about the ECP.


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