The Nisqually River Education Project, South Sound GREEN and Chehalis Basin Education Consortium are offering the first ever Climate Resiliency Fellows. This program aims to build a dynamic community of engaged teachers committed to engaging their students in learning about and taking action in local climate change issues and climate resiliency projects. The Fellows program is offered as a part of a 3 year, environmental literacy program supported by NOAA. Teachers in the program meet quarterly to receive curriculum support and brainstorm ideas for action projects that address local issues. Matthew Phillipy is a teacher at Marshall Middle School who is a participant in the program this year, and has be actively engaged in getting his students outside! Thanks, Matthew, for sharing this awesome Earth Day experience!
After learning of the World-wide “Stand for Science” march that was scheduled to take place Saturday April 22, 2017 I knew I had to get my students involved. With it being Earth Day and all we would usually plan for a tree planting day of service or maybe a city wide litter pick up. But how often do our kids get the chance to join millions of others around the world to make a stand for the very institution that gave us vaccinations, the space program, smart phones, gore-tex, digital cameras, laptops, the endangered species act, the environmental protection agency and much, much more? Without science our world would be a much different place. Science is responsible for so many amazing breakthroughs that we take for granted everyday. Some will say that science also is responsible for atrocities such as the atomic bomb and DDT and to these people I say true, very true. Science and technology can be misused in the wrong hands. Yes science has given us many problems such as pollution and warfare. However if we are the ones that invented these technologies we also have the capability of inventing-or at the very least implementing the solutions necessary to right these wrongs. In essence the stand for science march provides us all the opportunity to acknowledge that science is not perfect and we have a long way to go.
But the march also gives us the opportunity to tell our elected officials that our students deserve the right to learn about science-the triumphs and the tragedies and they deserve the right to explore the world with the best scientific equipment, the coolest schools, the most highly qualified teachers, and the greatest out-of-class opportunities that are available-regardless of the cost! If we don’t show our students how to stand for something that we believe in than we are no better than those that are attacking the very institution of science. Our kids look up to us and the examples we set. We have the opportunity to demonstrate to them how to peacefully assemble, have intelligent discourse and how to have a good time marching for a cause that we all believe in. My challenge to my kids this earth day was simple: do one thing.That one thing could be turning off their electronics or riding a bike instead of driving. But most of my kids decided to get active and march for science on earth day. Not all of my students showed up-it was a Saturday after all and it was raining (this is Olympia) but i still had almost half my junior high kids show up, some even dressed up and made signs. My kids showed me that you’re never to young to start forming your understanding of how the world works. It’s never too early to get involved in politics, its never too early stand for science and its never to early to show the world that teenagers care about something greater than themselves. I am proud of my students, my school, my community and to all the scientists out there that are fighting for our rights and fighting to keep our planet safe from scientific illiteracy. Happy earth day!