Kurt’s Goals for Moving Forward

Hello everyone it’s Kurt again to talk about my goals and reflections for the year so far. As far as goals go I want to be able to teach people about environment issues and not sound superior or all-knowing. I also want to make sure the message gets across well and isn’t seen as boring. As for reflections, I think the lesson planning process has been going better than I thought. I thought there would be a breakdown in communication and for the better part of the process it’s been going pretty well. I think also lesson planning is much harder than it seemed as you need to make sure it’s presented in an interesting and clear way and this can be difficult depending on the audience. I am sure though that not only my partner and I but the other fellows will make great lessons that we be very interesting and very informative. Thanks everyone for the read and I hope you have a great rest of the day.
Bay and Paul Fellow,
Kurt LoPresto

Cindy’s Goals and Reflections

Good Morning, Afternoon, or whatever day of time you are reading this:

On November 1st, 2013, the Bay and Paul crew had our Friday meeting. Besides discussing our lovely senior lives, our main task was to focus on creating lectures in the upcoming months for both EVO students and the general public. In a nutshell, these lectures are created by the BP Fellows in order to stress the knowledge of various dilemmas and actions in the environmental field. So far we are being very precautious on the construction of these lesson plans-especially by inserting minimal bias and more factual examples to support our topics–that way our audience don’t think we’re a bunch of Eco-Freaks who are preaching the green life.

Continuing this nutshell, there are three main lists that were created to maintain a consistent and a professional manner for each of our lectures, which are:
What we want students to know
Want change
Believe in climate change
Want a better community
Think about how their actions affect the world environment
Know they can make a difference
What we don’t want students to think
That republicans are always against climate change
That one person can’t change the world
That mostly white people take action for climate change
That climate change doesn’t exist/isn’t important
That economics or policy is more important/ valuable than environmental ideas
Current complications
Trying to get different perspectives into conversations
Getting everyone’s attention
Being sensitive to everyone’s background
Students being overwhelmed
Not believing the presented facts

Perhaps you are wondering what topics our lectures will contain. Well, hold your horses. We’re not spilling out all of the beans yet. But what I can tell you is that the BP group is divided into three groups and will discuss a topic of interest! Here is what each group is crafting:
Mia and Amanda: DinoSnore Event (February)
Communicating Cultural Change: “American Idle”
Pugs and Kurt: March Evo Class
Endangered Species and Conservation
Haileen and Cindy: April Evo Class
Leave No Child Inside: Environmental Psychology and Human Health

Sorry, I can’t release any more details because our drafts are subject to change, and I don’t want to leave in an expectation that could be shunned if we decide to remove an idea. Stay Green!

Cindy

Current Events: Health Effects of Air Pollution

For current events, I found an article on nationalgeographic.com titled, “A Chinese Child’s Lung Cancer is Linked to Pollution.” Woah, scary. A little kid getting lung cancer from pollution? That’s not right. It was an eight-year-old girl that was diagnosed with lung cancer in the Jiangsu Province of Eastern China. The article states that this is probably the youngest person in China, and possibly in the whole world to develop lung cancer caused by air pollution. An expert was interviewed about the impact of air quality on health. When asked about PM2.5 particles, the expert says that they are nasty little microscopic particles in the air that come from burning things, such as coal and gasoline, and can penetrate the lungs. The expert says that the United States is less polluted than China in the sense that the U.S. has had lower averages of micrograms per cubic meter of air than China has had. The expert also talks about how industrial activity versus our health is an issue, and that cardiovascular disease probably has the strongest relationship with air pollution.

Meeting Recap: November 1

Hey guys,

One Nov. 1 in Bay & Paul, we discussed our curriculum and gave each other feedback. We are coming up with a curriculum for the Evolutions After School Program at the Peabody Museum. Our topics have to be ranged in the Environmental Science section. Amanda and I are working on the Policy & Politics behind passing laws and how high school students can make a difference. Kurt and Christine are doing the Wildlife/Conservation, and Haileen and Cindy are doing Environmentalism/ Human Health and Psychology. We all came up with different ways to teach this. We all had to take into account the following: how long will this lesson take, how do we engage high school students of all different level, and how do we make sure they take something away from our lesson. After giving each other feedback, we decided to re edit our curriculum, so we can make the plan better. I never knew how hard it is to come up with a curriculum for different ages and to make sure that the curriculum is entertaining for everyone. I have a new appreciation for teacher. Kudos to all the great teachers of the world. You guys do so much!

-Mia

Meeting Recap: October 18, 2013

Hello all, it’s me, Kurt, here to give you a recap of our last meeting. At this meeting, we focused on teaching environmental lessons and picking topics for our teachings in the Evolutions classes. During the meeting we had two guest speakers from the Peabody Education Department. They talked to us, the fellows, about their experiences teaching kids and groups of kids and adults during their time in the education field, especially relating to environmental topics. They also talked to us about how to keep our audience focused on our topics. After this we assembled into groups of two to plan a lesson for three times: the Dinosnore (and Evolutions event that kids from the program come together), a week of teaching in March, and a week of teaching. The three topics that are in generic terms as of now are: policy making in relation to environmental laws, sustainability and human health, and wildlife, ecosystems, and conservation. We, as in our groups, will meet together outside of Bay and Paul and make a lesson plan to present to the other fellows for feedback at the next meeting. Also, at the end of the meeting we did an exercise we had done previously with Gus Speth’s book Red Sky at Morning. We all picked a passage out of a chapter and created a at most three minute lesson to teach the paragraph to our fellow members. We all presented our lessons and learned things that we can fix when teaching to make the lesson more engaging and more time efficient, such as not talking with our hands, having our lesson all planned out and not in our head, and making the lesson clear and concise. We all did better than the previous time though so with more practice we should all be very good at teaching our fellow Evolutions members.

Thanks for reading all,

Bay and Paul Fellow, Kurt LoPresto

Meeting Recap: October 6, 2013

Hey guys! How’s it going? At our last B&P meeting on Sunday, October 6th, we learned and practiced teaching by doing different activities. One activity we did was having each member teach a different paragraph in Speth’s book. Amara gave us tips on our teaching styles and how be can better our teachings. The other activity was using another member’s paragraph about a negative/positive experience they’ve had and teach that paragraph to the rest of the B&P members..

We discussed the two videos Amara sent us. One was a serious and scary video about a little girl getting affected by an environmental disaster. The other was a lighter video about students making a parady of a song to spread an environmental message.

Towards the end of the meeting each of us wrote on the board what we do and don’t want students to learn from the lessons we are planning on teaching.

Finally, we discussed the “Global Warming is Colorblind” article about why there aren’t a lot of minority groups when it comes to saving the environment.

I hope everyone’s having a good week!

A Moment of Reflection

Hey guys,

I just realized I never really introduced myself. My name Is Mia and I am part of this Bay & Paul Environmental Fellows Internship, of course. The reason I applied to this internship is because I always wanted to do something big to help our environment, but I knew that I did not know much about our environment or what climate change is. Yes, most people have the main idea about what climate change is, but not many people know about the details that go within it, like, why specifically it is happening and what we can do to stop it. When I heard about this internship, I thought, wow, what a coincidence and got really excited. When I heard I got accepted, I was so excited and I am loving every minute of it.

When I was younger, my family did not care too much about the environment. I did not even know that the environment could change or that there is even a slight possibility that I (people) could be responsible for it. In other words, I was clueless about the environment and climate change. It all changed when my fourth grade teacher took us on a field trip to a garden. The gardener was talking about how climate change affects us using the example of food from his garden. That day was a shocking day for me because he told me that the things I do can affect how other live in a hundred years. That is when I asked my teacher more about climate change and the more she told me, the more I wanted to do for the environment. That is how I became more into helping our environment.

Our big project this year is to teach the students from the Evolutions After School Program about climate change using the topic of food. Relating climate change to food is not hard at all, but making a curriculum to teach an entire class in my mind seems really hard and stressful. I’ve been just thinking about how I am going to approach students about this topic. How am I going to keep everyone engaged? How will I not be biased? How will I relate this to everyone’s life, so I can help them better understand this? How will I show everyone that climate change is a problem without scaring them? I am just realizing that there are all these factors in teaching not only an environmental course, but every course. I really appreciate all my teachers a lot more. Thinking about all of these questions is really stressing me out, but I am also very excited to see what I can come with and how I teach my class. I also hope to gain some feedback from the students, so next time I can do even better.

Until next time,

-Mia