Amber Orellana


I've been a part of the GREEN pathway for about four years, I've been passionate about the environment at a young age. My mom has been a big influence towards my passionate. We would do clean ups, we recycle, dispose trash properly and we do our best to reduce our carbon footprint. So I knew the GREEN pathway was for me. I like working with my hands, doing projects, read, draw, and write. I'm currently waiting for my acceptance letter for Mt. San Antonio college and I'm planning on becoming a paramedic.

Vertical Garden

Amber garden 2.jpg

For my pathway artifact I chose the vertical garden, it's the project I worked the  hardest and for the longest. This project was entered for the science fair, we won a certificate of participation.


The project is built mostly of up-cycled materials and very few purchase materials. First thing is the base. The base is a wooden palette that was used to hold solar panels two and a half years ago. It was cut in half and is standing upright, to the bottom of the palette has two wooden boards in each are flat down and wheels are attached to it for it can stand stable and make it moveable. Then we have the potholders/gutters, the gutters are two feet long and in both ends of the gutters have end caps that are sealed with silicone (for no leakage). We had bought a foam-like brand called Foamular, the item is polyfoam which is made of recycled items. It’s combustible, a thermal barrier, water-resistant, and this is biodegradable. We cut it a foot and nine inches long to fit inside the gutter. Before putting it inside the gutter we measure two inches in both ends (from the pre-cut polyfoam) of the poly foam; at the end of the two-inch we traced out the size of the baskets and cut out the shape so once it is put in the gutter it can hold the basket. The plants are in their specially made pot (the pot description will be in how the project works) that allows them to suck up the amount of water that they need. As the plants are placed in the potholders/ gutters that are attachable and detachable; there are three other gutters that are the same that are placed on the palette. Now one half of the project is almost done.


Now for the main event, the overflow pump that uses no electricity instead it uses the gravitational pull of the earth. One of us (Amber Orellana) Came up with this without needing any electricity. This idea was brought upon by an aquatic pump (for a turtle tank) that is used to transfer water from the tank to a bucket without any time of electricity, only air pressure. This idea took a lot longer to decipher because we did not know what material to use that won’t rot, degrade, or rust. The our teacher, Ms. Jimenez suggested using PVC piping and from there the idea took flight. The overflow pump is in the shape of a rainbow, an upside down U and uses vinyl tubing. What connects it is a two PVC elbow, ¾ X ½, on the very top of the upside down U is ½ size PVC pipe that is cut (three inches) and the ½ side of the elbow on both ends of the pipe. That makes the top half of the upside down U, for the legs one side is shorter than the other (four and five inches) and both have ends caps. Now time to drill the holes, on the top half on both elbows where it shows the curve, right next to it we drilled a hole as big enough for our thumbs to fit. The five inch PVC leg of the U is being measure from the end cap to top two inches then drilled a hole that is going to be slightly smaller than the size of the vinyl tubing (for a secure and snug fit) and from the tubing goes into a bucket so all the collected water goes in there and can be reused to water the plants again. And we also did the same measurements on the other leg and this goes inside the gutter/ water reservoir.