NACURH Winner
Month: June 2017

NACURH, INC.

Educational Program of the Month
Colors of Summer

School: University of South Alabama Region: SAACURH
Person in charge: Lauren Bassler Nominator: Lauren Bassler

Target Population: 250 Time Needed to Organize: 4 hours
Number of People in Attendance: 32 Date(s) of Program: 06/08/2017
Number of People Needed to Organize: 2 Cost of Program: $25
On-Campus Population: 2400 Chapter Size: 9

Origin of Program:

The Colors of Summer program was developed to teach residents that there are many different uses for everyday materials instead of just throwing them away. At the University of South Alabama, we have a campus wide push for students to recycle and help improve our environment. All 6 of our residential communities have recycling bins in the lobbies to collect paper, cardboard, and plastic. The summer resident assistants came up with a fun project to allow the resident to not only learn about what all you can do with recyclable material but also allow them to make a lava lamp that would not violate any community standards. The community standards are the guidelines for residents on what they can and cannot have in their rooms and a lava lamp is on the list for things they cannot have. This program was a great first step in teaching residents about recycling and the benefits of recycling.

Word Count: 156


Please give a short description of the program:

The residents will be using recycled water bottles to make lava lamps. The lava lamps will brighten up their rooms and add some fun summer colors and vibes to the residents’ room all while not breaking any housing standards. The resident assistants set up the program in the lobby where most of summer residents were staying. They set up a table with a basic assembly line to help the residents follow the correct order in making their lava lamps. First the residents would grab a recycled water bottle and use a funnel to fill it about a third of the way with water. Then they chose which color of food coloring to add to the water. The would then put the cap on the bottle and shake it up making sure the color of the water was the color they wanted. Many residents experimented mixing multiple colors to make many different colors on the spectrum. Then they would give the bottle to the resident assistant which would then fill it up about three fourths of the way with vegetable oil. The resident assistant would then break an Alka-Seltzer tablet into small pieces, about half an inch in size and place them into the bottle. They would then close the bottle and watch as the resident would stare in amazement at the lava lamp affect coming from the bottle. The key to making sure the colored water would bubble up in a cool stream like a lava lamp is gas that the Alka-Seltzer makes when it dissolves in the water. The resident assistant would then give them an extra packet of Alka-Seltzers to take back to their rooms allowing them to continue to use the recycled water bottle as a lava lamp.

Word Count: 292


Goals of the program:

During this program, the resident assistants will be teaching residents about recyclable materials. They taught the residents that not only can they place recyclable material in the recycling bins in the lobby, but that there are many different uses for them. Most of the everyday products that we use have another use after their primary uses. Just like the water bottles first use was to hold water for you to drink. It also has a second use as a homemade lava lamp that the resident created. Not only did the residents learn about recycling they also got a small chemistry lesson on why the lava lamp works. Many residents that came to the program said that they were extremely interested in how they would turn a water bottle into a lava lamp. This interest helped the resident assistants achieve their goal of spreading the word about recycling.

Word Count: 148


Positive and lasting effects of the program:

This program may have only been able to recycle 32 bottles, but the knowledge the residents gained from the program will last for a very long time. This program is a small step that could potentially lead to a combined effort between our housing communities and the general campus. Also with all programs that are active ones and involve resident assistants and resident interactions there is a bonding effect. Many residents that stopped by to make a lava lamp also spoke with the resident assistants and created a relationship with the resident assistant. Many of the summer residents are athletes that are brand new to our university so they think resident assistants are an authority figure. This program helped them realize that resident assistants are also just students and are not there to be someone who is looking to get them into trouble or use there authority. Allowing the resident assistants and residents relationship to grow.

Word Count: 157


Short evaluation of the program:

We held the event in the lobby hoping that every resident that came through would see us and ask what we were doing. The event was very successful allowing us to recycle 32 water bottles and turned them into lava lamps. We used all of the vegetable oil and Alka-Seltzer tablets that we purchased. The residents were amazed at how the lava lamp effect was created. So they also received a small chemistry lesson. The resident assistants also encourage residents to use the recycling bins located in the lobby. This program was the second program of the summer and was a great way to show the residents that the resident assistants are not only here to serve them but to teach them. The resident assistant were able to use a small program to help impact a much larger campus wide outreach in recycling.

Word Count: 144


How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

This program can easily be adopted to any other campus. It is very versatile and can be adjusted for large and small campus populations. This program can make an impact know mater the campus size because recycling just one bottle helps improve the environment we live in. Also every resident assistant struggles to make connections over the summer term because classes keep everyone busy. This program is very interactive between residents and resident assistants so this can also be used on every campus helping improve that relationship.

Word Count: 88



Date of entry into database: 2017-07-03 12:23:33

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