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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Senior Issue 2024
June 5, 2024

MAST junior vital in electric school buses coming to MDCPS

New electric buses have been released in Miami-Dade thanks to MAST Academy’s Holly Thorpe
Holly Thorpe posing on the stair of an electric bus (Courtesy of Holly Thorpe)

Miami-Dade Public Schools now has 50 new electric school buses to take students to and from school.

After nearly 5 years of planning and persistent efforts with the school board to bring electric buses to MAST Academy, junior Holly Thorpe has achieved just that.

Thorpe has been researching the negative effects of school buses since she was introduced to this idea in a 6th-grade science project. The purpose of the project was to measure the CO2 levels emitted by MAST’s school buses and after discovering the hazards within the bus environment, she was determined to find a solution.

“I discovered that inside the school bus, the levels were extremely dangerous for students, drivers, and the environment,” Thorpe said. “I joined Green Champions to see what I could do, and they encouraged me to speak to the school board to make a change.” She has been a part of Green Champions, an environmental group in MAST Academy, since then.

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Thorpe found that not only are students and drivers affected, but it also negatively impacts the surrounding environment, contributing to global warming.

Electric buses are safer since the CO2 trapped inside the bus while driving or riding in the bus can cause “asthma and cancer and overall bad symptoms for the people inside the bus,” according to Thorpe. She continued, stating that more carbon emissions from buses cause climate change to speed up.  Electric busses are the “first step in a worldwide change,” she said.

The district partnered with Blue Bird Corp. to buy the buses and has already deployed an initial fleet of 20 of the buses, with plans to release the other 30 in the near future. The buses prove more efficient and will result in reduced long-term costs.

“All I can hope for is that more schools and counties also take the step of getting electric school buses to replace diesel ones”, Thorpe says.

She is extremely proud and grateful that she was finally able to see the result of her hard work and dedication.


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About the Contributor
Francesca Verdazco
Francesca Verdazco, Staff Writer
Francesca Verdazco is a freshman at MAST Academy. This is her first year as a student at this school. Verdazco had a tough time deciding what school she wanted to attend. She was between TERRA and MAST because all her friends went to TERRA, but her sister came to MAST and loved it. She picked MAST because it is “Overall, [it's] a great school and the people here are very nice,” Verdazco said. MAST is perfect for Verdazco because she loves spending her free time at the beach or pool. Verdazco was a former volleyball player at her old school and wanted to try out for the MAST team, but the tryout dates passed before she knew it. So far, MAST has been a perfect fit for her, and she plans to have a great school year.
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