This week’s post is written by Seventh Grade Science Teacher Sarah Freeman.
Sustainability Night was a raging success! On Thursday, March 1st, the 7th graders gathered in Kraft Dining Hall dressed to the nines and ready to present all of their hard work to parents, teachers, and peers. The excited energy was palpable as students explained both the scientific causes and effects of an issue caused by climate change. With over 25 distinct topics and 46 individual solutions to these issues, each student’s project was unique. The assignment allows students to study, research, and invent a technology that they feel personally connected to and are interested in — truly becoming a scientist!
All of this hard work begins right before winter break as students learn in science class about the greenhouse effect and the signs of climate change. As students return from break they each choose a topic and a specific location of the world where the issue is occurring. They spend time in humanities classes researching the culture of the location and the ways in which the geography, population, and economy have been (or will be) affected. Once a full understanding of the causes and effects are understood, students begin to brainstorm how they could solve these issues or mitigate their effects in order to help the people living in the location of their choosing. The students truly ‘think big’ as they create genetically modified flame retardant trees, solar powered water delivering drones, CFC-free refrigerators, and underwater ocean cooling fans. However, inventing isn’t the hard part — truly understanding how the solution would work in the real world is! Students tackle this challenge head on by researching complex processes such as desalination, light-wave absorption, and cloning.
By the time Sustainability Night rolls around these 7th-grade scientists are itching to get up in front of a crowd and share all of their knowledge. Their sense of pride and accomplishment is evident on their smiling faces and furrowed brows as they demonstrate how their solutions could work in real life to help improve lives around the world!