FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL + HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS • PRIMARILY IN-PERSON AND OUTDOOR, 1-2 SESSIONS WILL BE VIRTUAL
In this course we seek to develop scientific skills to explore the environment and to reflect on our relationships with the place we live in. These skills include identifying plants and creatures living in our local ecosystems, contributing through citizen science, conducting scientific literature search, understanding the research process and communicating that research to a wider audience. Using these skills we explore topics that include indigenous plants/insects, pollinator gardens, the impacts that grass lawns and the built environment have on biodiversity, and the negative effects of pesticides. To understand how we can use this knowledge to make a positive impact on our local environment, we will discuss different actions that we can take, in addition to the various actions groups in Lexington are already implementing. To create a space where our minds, hearts and hands are engaged, we will explore the connection between nature and mindfulness; in the final class, everyone will have the opportunity to share their project which brings together what they have learned. This could be in the form of a blog, a small garden, a video, a picture or more. Through this interdisciplinary course, we hope to foster a deeper appreciation for our local environment, and collectively, to expand our potential to sustain positive change in our own community.
Gabe Bronk, PhD is a computational biophysicist and science educator.
Peter Sun currently works as a Project Engineer managing Capital Construction Projects for the Boston Planning and Development Agency. During University his interest in renewable energy led him to join Blue Sky Solar Racing while studying Civil Engineering at University of Toronto.
Rita Pandey, PhD, is a board member of Lexington Living Landscape and Citizen For Lexington Conservation. She has lived in Lexington for 30+ years and has raised 3 children. She has been a town meeting member since 2016 and was the assistant director of Harvard Secondary School.
Shiqi Shen, a PhD student at UW-Madison, is interested in exploring ways to elevate youth voices and support them in becoming change agents.
Vivekanand Pandey Vimal, PhD, is a research scientist at Brandeis University who studies spatial disorientation. He is also a former Waltham High School teacher and grew up and lives in Lexington.
Yatong Chen, former provincial government regional and urban planning consultant, current high school teacher and civil educator.