The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

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Computer science should be accessible for all and integrated with both the humanities and social sciences.
Opinion: Computer science education needs a major update
Grace Metz, Editor-In-Chief • May 19, 2024
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The Senior Music Award Ceremony took place on May 7, 2024.
Music department honors graduating seniors
Ava Vogel, Staff Writer • May 18, 2024
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Coach Vincenzo talks with player Landon Vanderwarker during a game.
How Coach Vincenzo’s character shaped not only the Hayes Basketball program, but the community and players alike
Josie Morrow, Views/Entertainment Section Editor • May 17, 2024
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Engineers work on the Voyager 2 probe. The Voyager probes have now been in space for nearly 50 years.
Opinion: What the Voyagers odysseys mean
Brody Counts, Staff Writer • May 17, 2024
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Next years Hayes Talisman editorial board (Left-Right): Natalie Heckert, Abby Stahl, Izzy Kelly, Dre Nelson, Mia Saksa and Ava Vogel.
Meet our new 2024-2025 editorial board
Grace Metz, Editor-In-Chief • May 15, 2024
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It’s Earth Day every day: Teen Eco Summit

Teen+Eco+Summit+teams+create+environmentally+sustainable+changes+in+the+community.+
Natalie Heckert
Teen Eco Summit teams create environmentally sustainable changes in the community.

It’s Earth Day every day: Teen Eco Summit
Spring is here with blooming flowers for the bees and farmers markets with fresh fruits and handmade products. What better way to embrace that feeling than with native plants in recycled planters and a sustainably made, reusable tote bag to store purchases?
Teen Eco Summit is a program made by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium where teams of students create projects to foster sustainable and conservation changes in their communities. Teams work with experts in conservation around the world identifying environmental problems along with potential solutions.
On top of the opportunity to meet and work with experts, teams also have the opportunity to win grant funding to help further their projects and make a more substantial impact.
There are two Teen Eco Summit teams here at Hayes: Trashy Totes and the Courtyard Garden, both advised by AP Environmental Science teacher, Jeffrey Bakunas.
“We have been doing it for the past five years,” Bakunas said. “I’ve had different teams going every year, we’ve evolved from just one team going to having so many kids who want to do different projects to having two big teams going.”
This year is the second year that the Trashy Totes group has participated in the program, but their project has changed from their original idea.
“Last year, we did an upcycling focus project, but it was more of like, ‘Oh, here’s an old shirt I have and I’m gonna turn it into a skirt or something,’ just more upcycling,” said senior Julia Waltz, a Trashy Totes member. “Keeping that same theme but making it more measurable.”
These changes led them to win a $2000 grant from The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The team decided to use the money they received to thrift fabrics and turn them into more bags.
Trashy Totes’ overall goal was to lower the amount of fabric going into landfills while also tackling the problem of single use plastic bags.
“At first we started running out for donations,” Waltz said. “We took clothes that people had in their closet that they didn’t use or we didn’t use and we cut them up. But, obviously instead of throwing them away, [we kept] them out of landfills. So we’re reducing fabric waste in landfills and reducing the use of [single use] plastic bags.”
The other group supporting conservation through Teen Eco Summit is the Courtyard Garden group. This project has been ongoing since 2022, the current members used the ideas of graduated members to make it their own.
This project was first started with the mini forest by the teacher parking lot, and then turned into a pollinator garden in the courtyard.
“This year we’re doing another garden, but last year was more focused on fruits and vegetables and that kind of thing,” said junior Chloe Stewart, a Courtyard Garden member. “This year, we’re trying to focus on a long term, kind of pollinator garden.”
Their first step was promoting recycling at school to collect cans and plastic bottles. They next processed all of the recycled materials and started turning them into plant pots. Finally, they also received native plant donations from local plant nurseries.
“I think for our group it’s a lot about bringing awareness to the issue and getting people to notice, ‘hey, maybe this plant that I’m planting right now isn’t actually going to help the environment,’” said junior Morgan Hohman, another Courtyard Garden member. “I think a great thing is making this courtyard look nicer, then students can come out here and notice some of the plants and maybe be inspired to join a club next year.”
Teen Eco Summit, along with other programs through the school like the gardening club, recycling club and environmental science are a great way to bring conservation and good environmental impacts to the school and community.
“It’s a cool way to get involved in the environment, and make an impact when you’re still in high school,” Stewart said.

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About the Contributor
Natalie Heckert
Natalie Heckert, Staff Writer
Natalie Heckert (she/her) is a junior at Hayes. This is her first year on staff. She dances competitively at Performing Arts Dance Centre and races for the Possum Run Ski Team. In her free time, she likes to hang out with friends, listen to music, read, and create art.
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