350Pittsburgh Supports Students Tackling the Climate Crisis

Young people are playing a crucial role in the fight to halt the climate crisis.  350 Pittsburgh has been a strong supporter of student climate activist efforts.   In  2019 we increased our support by launching  our student award program.    We are continuing this program in 2022 and are offering up to  $500 awards for student led projects related to mitigating the climate crisis.

A very big thanks to our donors !  It is through your generosity that we are able to do this.
  • If you’re affiliated with a local school and can help with getting the word out to students about this opportunity, please email [email protected], we would love to send you more information.
  • If you’re interested to volunteer to help organize this program, please email [email protected], we can use your help !


We are now accepting student applications on a rolling basis

Contact 350 Pittsburgh at [email protected] for details.


Spring 2022 Awardee

Congratulations to Ilyas Khan and the “House on Fire” team !  They will coordinate activists and artists both here and abroad in making several one to two minute clips showing their work and process. These will be strung together into one overarching narrative centered around communal climate justice and the importance of art in those conversations. This is a continuation of work Ilyas had been doing in Buffalo.  check out their 2021 trailers !




Fall 2021 Awardees

We are pleased to announce two awards for Fall 2021:

Michael Lau is a freshman at CMU, but he is already off with a leap into the environmental community in Pittsburgh! The project that 350Pgh is supporting is using the Bokashi composting method to create compost quickly using raw materials from the CMU dining halls and, with time, expanding to other CMU buildings. The compost will be used at the Winthrop Garden. Michael works together with the CMU Sustainable Earth club.   The project has now diverted about 50 gallons of pre-consumption food waste from a CMU dining hall to support the CMU garden.

The Shaler High School College in High School Sustainability class, in a project spearheaded by Miko, Danielle, and Cassidy, is growing succulent plants as a fundraiser to support renovation of a Millvale Community building.  The Millvale Community Development Corporation is leading the renovation project, which will include 40.94 kW of solar panels (installed by EIS Solar) and one Electric Vehicle charging station.


Their  pop-up sale Fall 2021 in Millvale was a tremendous success.  Congratulations to the Shaler students on a sold-out pop-up sale of their succulents ! Stay tuned for opportunities to get your succulent plant and support this great project and community !  Follow them on Instagram @sahssustainability

So far they have raised $1600, which was matched by another $1600 by a very generous donor, for a total of $3200 to support the Millvale Community building.  Read the Shaler Area High School Student  Newpaper article about this project.


Spring 2020 Awardees

We are pleased to announce two awards for Spring 2020.  In order to promote safety in light of the Covid-19 outbreak, and understanding the unusual stresses our students and community are facing, we offered our students up to Dec. 31, 2020 to complete their projects.  Also, we understand the projects needed to be adapted to stay safe in the pandemic.

    • We are very happy to support the newly formed CCAC Environmental Group in carrying out their first outreach event.  They plan to have a screening of “Before the Flood,” supported by National Geographic and accompanied by an invited  speaker.  A representative from Green Mountain Energy has agreed to set up a table outside of the screening to educate attendees on alternative/sustainable energy options. In addition, a clothing swap table, refreshments, and a fundraising gift basket are planned in collaboration with other CCAC groups.  We are proud to assist this new initiative on the CCAC campus !
      • The CCAC student group led by Marissa Rodi  successfully revised their project and held a lively and well planned Zoom Climate Awareness event Friday Oct. 30 as part of their 350 Pittsburgh student award.  About 25-30 students attended and shared concerns, tips, and questions.  Programming included a Kahoot! climate facts quiz,  an engaging discussion with Hannah Samuels from Allegheny Cleanways, and a great 5min video from Prince Ea, Man vs Earth.  Great job Marissa !


    • We are also very happy to support WaterWalks: Creative Action for Community Justice. WaterWalks is a socially engaged art project organized by CMU students, Pittsburgh-based artists, and community activists. Using the framework of environmental justice, WaterWalks responds to the climate crisis by organizing artist-led experiences that center marginalized perspectives in Pittsburgh’s ongoing water crisis.  They are planning to use the award to organize an additional workshop event in late April that will bring together many of the artists, activists, community leaders, and researchers they have worked with. During that workshop, they will collaboratively assemble an artists’ book that documents the project thus far and speculates what the future of WaterWalks might hold.
      • The WaterWalk group held a well attended and pandemic safe walk along Nine Mile Run Saturday Nov. 14. Members of Nine Mile Run Watershed association shared information about 9MR and the restoration project.  A Univ. of Pittsburgh graduate student in  Geology and Environmental Studies discussed research she is conducting on 9MR water quality, and the walk concluded with a tea ceremony at the Monongahela.  For a description of the walk, see the WaterWalks write-up.
        The 350Pittsburgh award was planned to be an April  workshop following this walk that was originally scheduled in March.   We look forward to a revised WaterWalks project !


Fall 2019 Awardees

350Pittsburgh is splitting its Fall 2019 award between two excellent projects !


  • Anais Peterson,  fourth year organizer with Fossil Free Pitt Coalition, will work to make sure that FFPC campaigns are successful this Spring and have a smooth transition to continue their work after seniors graduate in April. Her proposal states: “I strongly believe in building movements of leaders and throughout this project I want to continue to build a culture within our coalition where everyone feels they belong in the movement and they understand movement theory so they feel comfortable taking on more and more responsibility. I’ll be facilitating a number of trainings throughout this year as Fossil Free Pitt Coalition continues to escalate towards our demand for a vote on Fossil Fuel divestment on 2/28/2020. These trainings will include base building trainings which include skills such as canvassing to trainings around anti-oppression and group culture. In addition to this internal work I will also be doing a lot of work around campus to build awareness of FFPC ranging from undergraduates to administration. My goals for this project are to continue building a strong culture of student organizers in our movement and continue to raise awareness of Fossil Free Pitt on campus so we can win full divestment by April 2020.

Pitt students advocating for the University of Pittsburgh to divest its endowment of fossil fuels, Fall 2019.

This Fall  Anais  participated in FFPC’s 10th sit,  in organized a teach-in during our sit-in for our organizers and other students, organized the history night event for Thanksgiving with alumni and current organizers which had roughly 25 people in attendance including one of the founding members of the campaign!  She continues to work  in preparation for the Spring semester’s escalation mainly reaching out to alumni and department allies to increase community support on campus.   Congratulations Anais !


Summer 2019 Awardee


350Pittsburgh was pleased to select  Max Forsyth’s  bioplastics project for our Summer award.  Max is  a senior in the architecture program at Carnegie Mellon University and design chair of the CMU Sustainable Earth group.

Project excerpt:

With this award, I hope to continue my research on bioplastics, materials made with organic ingredients that can decompose in compost but are resistant to water and are durable, like synthetic plastics. Agar (seaweed extract) and certain starches add durability while additives can influence the shape, texture, and durability. I am specifically interested in clay as an additive to create “clay bioplastic”.  Clay bioplastic has specific shape-shifting behavior as it dries. I want to continue to study this behavior through material experimentation and speculate on the functional application of these shape behaviors (e.g. as a building material). The stove-top-cooking process of clay bioplastic uses a fraction of the energy needed to fire clay to make it durable bisqueware.  By not firing it, this clay compound material more easily decomposes under applied composting conditions.

Pictured here are Max’s experiments with agar and clay compounds (left) and tapioca and clay (right).

Spring 2019 Awardee


350 Pittsburgh awarded a team of graduate students from The Falk School of Sustainability & Environment at Chatham University with our Spring 2019 Student Award. Congratulations to Hannah Blinn, Morgan Block, Camilla Cook, Jessy Swisher, Sara Walker, and Amelia Eggan.   The students coordinated a family-friendly interactive Earth Month Celebration as part of a masters level Project Management course taught by David Laird. This was the first such event organized at Chatham.

Collaboratively, they organized multiple activities, workshops, music sessions, research presentations, and information tables of local campus and city organizations, including 350 PIttsburgh.  The activities were interactive and allowed participants to take home creations of their own, which included do-it-yourself sustainable tie-dyed bandanas, painted flowerpots, wildflower seed bombs, clothing swaps, and more. People were able to enjoy research presentations from first-year graduate students,  and music from local bands and later local craft beer.   Attendees were also able to learn more about the campus itself including its sustainable, ecological, and agricultural programs and resources. An  estimated  80 people joined  throughout the day, both from the Chatham internal community, and the public of all ages. Students plan to continue this event for next year.  It was a beautiful day to come together!

Connor Mulvaney. 041419.

Connor Mulvaney. 041419.


Zero Hour March 2018

In July 2018 Zero Hour organized a march  In Washington D.C.; youth marched on the National Mall to advocate for their own rights to a safe and livable future and highlighted the voices and stories of youth on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

350Pittsburgh supported University of Pittsburgh student Anais Peterson, who organized a sister Zero Hour march in Pittsburgh.  Anais did a terrific job, the march down Grant St. was very powerful as protestors called on local officials to enact effective and strong climate policy on all levels.

Photo credit Dianne Peterson