Archive for ‘High School Internship’

July 4, 2014

In with the Interns: Food Week

by Melissa Harding

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In with the Interns is our new segment featuring the 2014 high school interns; this segment will explore what they do, learn and experience this summer. Written by Kate Borger, this segment will also feature original words and artwork from the interns.

If you ever feel worried about the fate of the world, take heart. The Phipps high school interns, given their capacity for hard work, open-mindedness and true concern for others and for the environment, are living, teenage examples of hope for the future. As they enthusiastically learn about plant science and sustainable solutions to the daunting environmental issues we face, we can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing there are youth like them to help take on these problems with commitment and intelligence.

Since their first day in the job, these eight high school students have been working with Phipps horticulture staff to help beautify the Conservatory. In addition, they planned and planted their own vegetable beds, learned cooking techniques with members of Slow Food Pittsburgh, and studied basic botany with Pitt biology post-doc, Alison Hale. This second week was focused on food systems and how our food choices affect our bodies and the environment.  The documentary film, Food Inc. and Michael Pollan’s book, Food Rules, spurred on thoughtful and lively discussions.

Here are some of the interns own words about this week and what they learned:

“Learning to identify plants in the environment! Wow, what an epic experience that was! Now I can walk outside and tell whether a plant is simple, complex, a woody species, and talk about its phytotaxa. I love that! I feel more connected to nature and enjoy being outside more.”
Larissa Kowmaka

“One thing that I learned this week was that food industries and farmers use corn for everything. Most of the things we eat nowadays have corn in them. Also, instead of feeding animals the food they are supposed to eat, farmers feed them corn to make them bigger and look grown in a short amount of time. Some of the animals are so big and lazy that their legs can’t support their body weight. That type of process is not good for the animals and the people that are eating them.”
– Ephraim St. Cyr

“This week I had a combination of things that definitely jump started this internship. We had our first double work shift with the horticulture staff. Then we took a lot of workshops, like supermarket botany, which was basically the etymology of the local fresh produce we buy at the stores every day. The class broke down piece by piece the process our foods go through before reaching our tables. Then we got a lot of different work experience, like I worked in the Edible Garden and the greenhouses. Very productive second week!
Alexis Smith

“This week as a Phipps intern has been full of exciting topics, ranging from integrated pest management to supermarket botany. But one major thing I liked was working in the Fruit and Spice Room, where I learned about banana’s progressive fruiting habits.”
Aaron Sledge

“I really enjoyed supermarket botany. It was really cool learning about plants we eat and fun facts. For example, a strawberry isn’t a berry and the part we eat is actually swollen tissue.”
Anna Steeley

“Ah yea, food week. Throughout this past week we have been reading Michael Pollen’s Food Rules. Although somewhat quirky, this book is filled with simple rules to help you maintain a healthier diet. Some of the rules, namely “If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it” have already sunk in to help me make healthier choices”
– Will Grimm

“The event this week that impacted me was definitely watching “Food, Inc.” As someone who, for the entirety of my life, has been an unquestionable carnivore, I was shocked by how seldom I actually take time to make sure my food is legitimate. I want more assurance that I’m not constantly take one step forward and two steps back in my diet. I’ll never, as far as I can know, stop eating meat, but I’ll try to be safer about it.”
Ahmir Allen

 The bottom line: individuals have the power to make choices daily that can improve our relationship with the environment. Talk about inspiring!

The above photo was taken by Cory Doman.

June 27, 2014

In with the Interns: Meet the 2014 High School Interns

by Melissa Harding

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In with the Interns is our new segment featuring the 2014 high school interns; this segment will explore what they do, learn and experience this summer. Written by Kate Borger, this segment will also feature original words and artwork from the interns.

How many teenagers can say they spent their summer being paid to learn, to cook with fresh produce, and to open their minds to concepts of sustainability and the importance of plants in our lives?  For Phipps’ eight high school interns, the bragging rights include planning, planting and maintaining vegetable beds, working throughout the Conservatory under the guidance of our stellar horticulture team and absorbing numerous green ideas through field trips, documentary films and discussions with our Science Education staff.  We’ll be following their activities on this blog as the internship unfolds, but first, a quick introduction to the 2014 Phipps High School Interns, in their own words:

Alexis

 

Alexis Smith
My name is Alexis Smith, I’m 17 years old, and I attend Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts, aka Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12. I’m a visual arts major. I enjoy drawing, painting, and sculpting plants. I also have a huge interest in planting. I love that feeling of me being able to flourish something and planting give me that. My favorite sport is volleyball and my favorite color is pink.

 

 

Ephraim

Emphraim St. Cyr
Hey, my name is Ephraim St. Cyr. I’m from Haiti. I came to America 5 years ago. I’m 17 years old and about to be a senior at Taylor Allderdice High School. My favorite subjects in school are math, physics and chemistry. I like to play sports. My favorite sport is running track. I also play soccer, basketball, volleyball and run cross country. I wanted to work at Phipps over the summer because it’s a great activity and I wanted to have more experiences on healthy food and plants. Also my mom is a plant addict (if that’s even a word), so I spend all my life around plants and sometimes I help her plant.

 

 

Dani

 

Dani Einloth
Hi, I’m Dani. I’m 16 and go to Sci Tech where I specialize in environmental science. I have been studying the Earth and everything that goes on in it. I’m also a soccer player for my school. I love photography and running in my free time. I applied for the Phipps internship because I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to expand my knowledge of anything environmental and get hands on experience. I hope with this internship that I will learn things I will be able to apply to real life and have use for in college.

 

Will

 

Will Grimm
First name William, last name Grimm. I go by Will, never Bill. As an intern returning for his second summer, I’m excited to work with the natural world more than ever. Aside from green hobbies, I am an avid crafter that enjoys knitting, weaving and sculpting. While hopefully having a career in the arts, I plan to run a self-sustaining farm to fulfill all my crafty needs.

 

 

Aaron

 

Aaron Sledge
My name is Aaron. I am an intern at Phipps for the summer of 2014. I attend Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy right here in Oakland. I love to work with plants, particularly orchids. One day I hope to work at Phipps as a horticulturalist with a degree from Penn State. I am excited to work with Phipps this summer and I hope to know more about plant-related science within these next 6 weeks.

 

 

Ahmir

Ahmir Allen
My name’s Ahmir. I’m a literary artist in my junior year at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12. An interesting thing about me is that I have never been out of Pennsylvania for more than a day. To bring that down to a smaller scale, I spend most of my time at home or alone, wandering Pittsburgh. This isn’t really bad, though. I’m not much of a people person. Most days I maintain an open mind and a kind smile, but I’m usually more at home in my own thoughts. You can find me either staring into space or closely observing the ones around me, with my earphones on and my music blasting.

 

 

Larissa

 

Larissa Koumaka
Hello, my name is Larissa. I’m 18 year old and newly graduated from Allderdice High School. I like reading, traveling, learning about other cultures, seeing new “worlds”, and discovering new things. Having already participated in this program last year, I know that Phipps is the place to discover new and interesting things, so I am very enthusiastically looking forward to spending the next 6 weeks here. Plants, people, sun, good bugs, bad bugs, bring it on!!

 

Anna


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Anna Steeley

My name is Anna Steeley. I currently attend Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School as a visual arts student. I am in the process of moving and will attend my new school as a senior. Besides from being an intern at Phipps, I volunteer at the Children’s Hospital.Some things I enjoy doing include, acting, playing volleyball and baseball, swimming, making art, and writing. I write a lot actually. I am currently working on a novel that I hope to publish soon.

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This first week of the internship revealed their true colors: hard-working, thoughtful and green!

The above photos were taken by Kate Borger.

March 10, 2014

High School Internship Opportunity: Horticulture, Sustainability and Service

by Melissa Harding

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“This program has changed my life, my views and the way I will grow up and become, all in the six weeks that I was at Phipps.”  – 2013 high school intern

Do you know any students that would make strong and eager candidates for an extraordinary summer learning experience?

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is now accepting applications from highly motivated high school students with an interest in the well-being of the planet to serve as summer interns in our paid internship program which will run from June 23th through July 31st. To be considered for this internship, students must be at least 16 years of age by June 24th and must be eligible for the free or reduced-cost school lunch program.

Our high school internship provides hands-on experience working with our science education and horticulture staff, along with classes, service projects, and field trips that expose students to a wide range of “green” concepts and career options.

More information and a Phipps employment application and a supplemental application form, along with a flyer suitable for posting can be downloaded from the Phipps website.

In addition to the two application forms, applicants are required to submit:
• A brief essay explaining their interest in the Phipps internship
• A letter of recommendation from an adult non-relative

Application materials are being accepted between February 1st – April 1st, and should be sent to:

Kate Borger, High School Program Coordinator
Phipps Conservatory
One Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phipps’ mission is to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse.

To learn more, check out previous blog posts about last year’s internship here, here, and here and some pictures from it below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The above pictures were taken by Phipps Science Education and Research staff.

January 20, 2014

High School Internship Opportunity: Horticulture, Sustainability and Service

by Melissa Harding

100_3404

“This program has changed my life, my views and the way I will grow up and become, all in the six weeks that I was at Phipps.”  – 2013 high school intern

Do you know any students that would make strong and eager candidates for an extraordinary summer learning experience?

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is now accepting applications from highly motivated high school students with an interest in the well-being of the planet to serve as summer interns in our paid internship program which will run from June 23th through July 31st. To be considered for this internship, students must be at least 16 years of age by June 24th and must be eligible for the free or reduced-cost school lunch program.

Our high school internship provides hands-on experience working with our science education and horticulture staff, along with classes, service projects, and field trips that expose students to a wide range of “green” concepts and career options.

More information and a Phipps employment application and a supplemental application form, along with a flyer suitable for posting can be downloaded from the Phipps website.

In addition to the two application forms, applicants are required to submit:
• A brief essay explaining their interest in the Phipps internship
• A letter of recommendation from an adult non-relative

Application materials are being accepted between February 1st – April 1st, and should be sent to:

Kate Borger, High School Program Coordinator
Phipps Conservatory
One Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phipps’ mission is to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse.

To learn more, check out previous blog posts about last year’s internship here, here, and here and some pictures from it below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The above pictures were taken by Phipps Science Education and Research staff.

January 6, 2014

Amazing Art From One of Our High School Interns!

by Melissa Harding

 Will Grimm, one of last year’s summer high school interns and a current member of From the Ground Up, just shared with us his latest art project using repurposed items. Using only used food packaging items, Will cut 15, 552 strips to use as fiber, attaching them to a rug backing to create this 3′ x 4′ rug. He also says that the finished product is surprisingly soft on the feet.  Just goes to show that repurposed art can be beautiful AND functional!

Thanks to Will for sending us these great pictures of his work. We can’t wait to see what he will do next!

FULL IMAGE

CLOSE UP 2 WILL GRIMM RUG!!!!!!!!!!!

The above photos were taken by Will Grimm.

August 3, 2013

In with the Interns: Eight Interns, Six Weeks

by Melissa Harding

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“These seven interns shown here in the above image along with myself in the photo has shown myself that everyone is not the same, in a good way. We all come from backgrounds and lifestyles. Brought all together for six weeks, we accomplished weekly goals, worked with the happiest and smartest horticulture staff and grew as individuals. I am glad that as a returning intern, I grew as a better person and more aware of the environment around me.” – Kiehl Jackson

In with the Interns is our new segment featuring the 2013 high school interns; this segment will explore what they do, learn and experience this summer. This week we will hear from the interns themselves as they describe the most effecting part of their time at Phipps.

    Larissa

“This summer spent at Phipps made me realize that we have everything we need to live happy lives around us – the world at its simplest form, with the plants, flowers and bees on the ground, the blue sky, the calm and rushing rivers offers us a beautiful and healthy way of life.” – Larissa

Kausar

“Phipps internship has been a wonderful summer experience for me. Without it, my summer would have been spent on my couch, which is pretty boring. Being a Phipps intern has introduced me to many wonderful experiences and people. I am glad that I applied and became an intern here at Phipps.”  –  Kausar

Garreth

“When I first came here I was looking from an engineering standpoint. Phipps has totally changed my perspective on the world I am living in and has made me more conscious and open minded to all the opportunities and green careers that are out there.” – Garreth

Franck
“At Phipps the most important thing I learned about it global awareness. I chose global awareness because not too many people are aware of global issues and Phipps has taught something about making changes to the daily things I do to improve the environment. Even I know like 1% about global awareness, just that 1% is making me make some changes to things I do regularly for the sake of the Earth’s future.” – Franck

Will

“This internship has not only left me with a vast knowledge of plant life, but opened the doors to several green careers by actively engaging us in community service and environmental culture.” – Will

Ian by Kiehl

“Being here at Phipps doing this internship has been so amazing to me. The new friends, lifelong memories, provoking thoughts and ideas and the different ways of life that I’ll never forget. This was all so beneficial to me, it ties in every things I did since I started here and it will always have a lifelong effect on me.” – Ian

To hear more from this summer’s interns, check out the interview they did with The Allegheny Front about how they might reduce food waste in their live.

The above photos were taken by Kate Borger and Kiehl Jackson.

July 29, 2013

In with the Interns: Week Five

by Melissa Harding

Frittatas by Rosemarie Perla

In with the Interns is our new segment featuring the 2013 high school interns; this segment will explore what they do, learn and experience this summer. Written by Kate Borger, this segment will also feature original words and artwork from the interns.

As anyone over the age of 35 knows, time races by way too fast.  In the case of the Phipps high school interns, they have discovered this truth early on by way of this six week internship that is almost over.  It’s hard to believe how much they’ve done, how many ideas and issues they’ve been exposed to, and yet how much more we’d like to squeeze into the program with only one week left.

This past week took them to Nine Mile Run in Frick Park where they not only learned about the  water issues facing our region, but were able to contribute by joining with the Phipps college interns and staff from Nine Mile Run Watershed Association to remove invasive plants along the restoration trail.

Working alongside Phipps horticulture staff, the interns got an in-depth look at Integrated Pest Management with our own bug guy, Scott Creary, and they were introduced to the complexities of fracking with a viewing of the documentary, Gasland.   As usual, Thursday’s featured activity was cooking with fresh, healthy produce.  Slow Food Pittsburgh chefs, Rosemarie Perla, Emily Schmidlapp and Amy Baer guided the interns through the very useful process of making frittatas, in this case using kale and zucchini grown in Phipps’ Edible Garden.

The internship program, not only provides hands-on work experience in Phipps Conservatory’s glass house and gardens, but is intended to open their horizons to pressing environmental issues- both local and global- and inspire them to become stewards of the environment through making sustainable choices, personally and perhaps in their studies and careers that await them.  There’s only so much you can squeeze into six weeks, but this extraordinary group of eight teenagers have managed to absorb every drop they’ve been offered.

The above photo was taken by Rosemarie Perla.

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