January 18, 2022

4th Grade Ecology Action Project: Stop the Smoke

Under the guidance of 4th grade teacher, Nicola Berlinksky, class assistant Ari Silberman,  and Oakwood’s Director of Experiential Learning, Phu Tranchi, students were assigned to write a persuasive essay or article on climate matters as part of their Ecology Action Project.

Fourth graders chose to investigate and create action projects that help the Oakwood community take steps to improve air quality, reduce water use, and reduce waste production. From reducing shower duration to recommending a more useful tool for Oakwood families to create carpools, their action ideas all aim to preserve our air, water, soil, and natural resources for humans and animals.

Nicola Berlinsky

Akshay ’30 shares this persuasive essay on why you should switch to a ventless gas fireplace:

Stop The Smoke

Hello, This Is Akshay and I ask you to try to switch to a ventless gas fireplace, well if you even have a wood-burning fireplace. If you don’t have a fireplace then you don’t have to do anything about the fireplace pollution project, but before I even tell you why you should switch to a ventless gas fireplace I first need to tell you why I’m even asking you to do this. This is for an air quality project that my friends Freddy and Sonny are doing with me. Freddy is 9 and Sonny is 10. We are trying to improve the air quality in California, but first are trying to encourage people in Oakwood to do more about the air quality.

Also, did you know that a wood-burning fireplace pollutes 3,000 to 90,000 times more than a ventless gas fireplace? And more than 27 million homes have fireplaces and that’s only in the US. Something to add on to that which is just to show how bad our air quality is that most of the fireplaces in the US are wood burning. Another reason to switch to a ventless gas fireplace is they have 99% less pollutants, and a ventless gas fireplace doesn’t make your house smokey.

Thank you,


Ecology Action Project Poster by Akshay '30, Freddy '30 and Sonny '30

In addition to individual essays and articles, students were then grouped together to make class presentations.

Below is a student-published presentation from Akshay ’30, Freddy ’30, and Sonny ’30, discussing air quality in Los Angeles and why individuals should switch to ventless gas fireplaces rather than wood-burning fireplaces: