By Donna Abbruzzese
Our science classroom at Farnsworth Middle School in Guilderland, NY investigated the greenhouse effect and its impact on global climate change. After a series of inquiry labs, both hands on and computer simulations, with additional follow-up investigation using the NOAA website I was ready to move on - however, the students were determined to find ways to limit the accumulation of greenhouse gases and their impact on the planet. My job at that point became one of facilitator rather than teacher!
The results were that the students investigated and identified simple steps that individuals could take to limit the production of carbon dioxide. After viewing many examples of effective public service announcements, they produced their own PSAs. Taking it another step further they committed to spreading the word through a science expo. In preparation they created informational displays and designed hands’ on activities to illustrate and motivate people to commit to action.
While at an NSTA conference in Cincinnati I happened upon the We Add Up display and brought information back to my students. They loved the idea of the unique-ness of the shirts and were eager to purchase them. The students agreed unanimously to donate any money raised by selling t-shirts to an ongoing project our school has undertaken to provide a water pump for an African village. In that way this project turned out to have many benefits - the environment and our fellow humans!
After all was said and done the Science Expo was a great hit, with well over 200 people from the community attending! The t-shirt sale and a bake sale that the students organized for the Expo resulted in the donation of $600 to the water pump project! Perhaps the most important benefit was the experience and sense of pride that the students are taking away from this multi-faceted project, in addition, they are now truly committed to continuing their work to improve the environment and take action to promote environmental awareness.
I couldn’t be prouder of my students!
Farnsworth Middle School