Making a difference, one birdhouse at a time


Freshman Alyssa Gatesman (left) holds the birdhouse steady as freshman Mary Loyola-Gomez (right) uses a drill to assemble the parts. “The birdhouse activity was really fun since we got to make it on our own. My favorite part was hammering it together,” Gatesman said. “I think the birdhouse activity should be continued because it encourages students to build for fun and do an activity aside from schoolwork.”

Elizabeth Li, Staff Writer

The soft thuds of hammers hitting nails echo through the Turing Commons. Students stand hunched over tables, working meticulously to transform slabs of wood into charming birdhouses. The Environmental Science club’s Make a Bird House workshop buzzes with liveliness.

The Environmental Science club opened their workshop in room 33 on Wednesday, Dec. 16 during eighth period, hoping to engage students through hands-on activities. 

“We installed a birdhouse in the front of the school last year and I thought it would be a really cool thing to engage the school community so everyone can see these are the projects we do if you really want to make a difference,” Environmental Science Club President senior Angeli Mittal said. “We thought we could engage the TJ community in this way.”

Through events like the birdhouse building activity, the club aims to raise interest for environmental issues and motivate people to work to improve the environment in their community.

“We’re hoping that people will be more interested in environmental issues and their community in general because a lot of people are always inside of the house studying but [the Make a Bird House workshop] kind of forces us to build something then go outdoors and help the environment, so I just hope it just gets more people interested in what we do,” Mittal said. 

Between cobbling the wood together with drills and hammers and the painting of the assembled birdhouse, the workshop had something for everyone.

“[My favorite part was] definitely painting, because I was pretty bad at putting it together – my partner had to help with that. The painting was a fun way for me to engage with the activity,” freshman Kenneth Do said. “I think it’s [the workshop] is a good activity to bring interest to the environmental science club – it was definitely one of the more fun activities that I’ve done in my eighth period this year.”

The Environmental Science club has grown since Mittal joined in her sophomore year, and is looking to continue to try to make changes concerning important environmental issues.

“I joined the club in my sophomore year – we had a really small club, with only six people by the time the officers left in my sophomore year. We did a lot of outreach, saying we do a lot of hands on projects and it kind of built on from connections and things like that,” said Mittal. “We also look a lot into composting and gardening and things like that because climate change is a really big issue but we’re not tackling that as a broad issue but more like the small aspects – all the small changes we can make that kind of make a difference.”