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PSJA ISD Hosts Sustainability Showcase, Highlighting Student Innovations

PSJA ISD Hosts Sustainability Showcase, Highlighting Student Innovations

Elementary students get to present sustainability projects

PHARR – Dozens of Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA ISD) elementary students presented engaging projects during the district’s inaugural Sustainability Showcase: Social Entrepreneurship through Financial Literacy event held on May 30, 2024, at the Pharr Events Center.


Led by the PSJA Office of Sustainability, the Sustainability Showcase brought together students in grades Pre-K 3 through 5th, educators, district administrators, and community leaders to explore innovative solutions and ideas crafted by PSJA ISD students for environmental and social challenges within their schools and communities. The showcase was the culmination of the Phenomenon-Based Learning Projects that PSJA ISD elementary students completed throughout the 2023-2024 school year.


Through various presentations and interactive exhibits, top students selected to represent their campus demonstrated a deep understanding of the importance of financial literacy, promoting sustainable practices, and social responsibility.


“The skills our students are learning through our district-wide sustainability efforts are invaluable,” said PSJA ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alejandro Elias during his remarks. “I am blown away by the projects that I have seen. Today is a testament to our commitment to providing all students with opportunities to engage in real-world problem-solving and develop entrepreneurial skills to benefit their futures and communities.”


A key highlight of the event was the focus on financial literacy as a critical component of social entrepreneurship. Through the research projects, students received guidance on managing finances and understanding the economic impacts of sustainable practices.


Katherine Morales, a 4th-grade student from Carmen Anaya Elementary, shared her thoughts on the importance of reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and the ocean.


“For our project, we created wallets out of recycled chip bags to help reduce the amount of waste in landfills that can also end up in the ocean harming sea life. Today we are also selling the wallets we created to make money to donate,” said the 4th grader during her presentation “Through our projects we tackled SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 14: Life Below Water, and SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.”


During the event, attendees heard from numerous guest speakers, including Senator Morgan LaMantia and Bert Ogden Auto Group CEO Natasha Del Barrio. Students were then awarded for their innovative projects and out-of-the-box solutions.


Congratulations to this year’s top district winners:


·      1st Place – Carmen Anaya Elementary


·      2nd Place – Berta Palacios Elementary


·      3rd Place – Graciela Garcia Elementary


“From renewable energy to industry, innovation, and infrastructure, students with a background in sustainability have a competitive edge,” said PSJA Sustainability Coordinator Velma Sanchez. “We extend our gratitude to all participants, staff, volunteers, and sponsors who made the Sustainability Fair a success. Let’s continue our journey toward a greener, more resilient future!”


To learn more about the PSJA ISD Sustainability initiative, visit: []