Dieuwertje Kast
  • Dieuwertje Kast

    STEM Programs Manager, USC Joint Educational Project
  • 30 Under 30
  • Changemaker Grantee
  • 2016
United States

Los Angeles, CA, United States

2020 EE 30 Under 30 Changemaker Grant Project
Student-led projects to greenify low-income elementary schools and reduce carbon dioxide emissions

Through the University of Southern California (USC)'s Joint Educational Project (JEP) and Young Scientists Program (YSP), this project will engage elementary school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District to learn about their carbon footprint and sustainable solutions to reduce it. The project will also enable students in seven elementary schools to greenify their schools through student projects that promote carbon capture and carbon footprint reduction. Along with planning and implementing their projects, students will also be able to track the direct impact of their solutions using carbon dioxide sensors.


2019 Biography Update: "Where are they now?"

Currently I’m working on a project called "Know Your Impact: Quantifying Carbon Footprints with CO2 Sensing Technology." Carbon dioxide sensors (designed by USC's Geology Department) will be installed in six educational institutions in Southern California, which will be used by University of Southern California students to instruct K-12 students in the surrounding community about sustainability issues through citizen science and participatory approaches. I am looking forward to seeing how the interconnectedness of EE and technology will develop in a collaborative and interdisciplinary way, and I want to explore what mobile applications can help solve problems such as by identifying and locating invasive species. My work is bringing STEM and environmental education to low-income classrooms in Los Angeles and beyond. I want to train the next generation of environmentalists and scientists and make sure low-income and underrepresented students have access to high-quality environmental education.



EE 30 Under 30 Biography

Mrs. Dieuwertje Kast is being recognized for her work with a gamut of organizations such as the University of Southern California’s (USC) Joint Educational Project (JEP), USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative, USC SeaGrant, USC QuikScience, USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, USC Rossier, USC Green Engagement Fund, Green Ambassadors, NOAA Teacher at Sea, Ocean Exploration Trust, NOAA Climate Stewards Education Program (CSEP), National Marine Education Association (NMEA) and PolarTREC.

Mrs. Kast primarily engages approximately 3000 low-income students and their family since 2014 in a variety of environmental issues through 3 STEM programs (USC Wonderkids, USC Young Scientists Program (both hosted through the USC Joint Educational Project), and USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative STEM program that the University of Southern California hosts in the Los Angeles area. Mrs. Kast currently creates lesson plans that bring environmental awareness to its participants and highlights the importance of understanding and working toward decreasing our impact to our environment.

Mrs. Kast sees herself as a “green” model for her students by bringing them the latest in environmental science which is achieved by translating and incorporating the information into teachable lesson plans. Mrs. Kast firmly believes that environmental education should be an integral part of K-12 classrooms as they prepare the next generation of scientists, climate experts, technicians and science educators of the future. Mrs. Kast also sees it as her job to inspire her students to take a more hands on approach to protecting our environment and to make positive contribution to our planet.