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Changing the World Virtually

Susan Cossette


How do communities use science ideas to protect the environment?

This was the question Middle School science teacher Jeremy Kes recently posed to his fifth grade students.

“Dubbed 'Change the World,' the project was open ended and, in my opinion, a good one as we near the end of the school year,” notes Jeremy. “I asked students to answer the question, ‘How do communities use science ideas to protect the environment?’"  

Our intrepid fifth grade Mustangs could respond in many ways. Some students took it upon themselves to make a small impact themselves, such as starting a small vegetable garden. Others wrote opinion articles and created podcasts to express their opinions about what should be done to address various environmental issues.  

“Learning at home was not an ideal way for us to pick up after spring break,” adds Jeremy. “But I am confident that my students are engaged and learning--in spite of our distance. Of course, being together in person is ideal, and throughout the year our students have found many ways to thrive in that traditional environment.”  

A traditional school environment teaches students a specific set of skills, and Breck students are really skilled at "doing school" in the traditional sense. Concludes Jeremy, “A silver lining about being asked to embrace distance learning is that our students are learning different skills that are typically not taught in a face-to-face learning environment. All of this is helping a new generation of students to become more flexible, resilient, and better equipped to handle novel situations going forward.”

Here is the extraordinary work that one of Jeremy’s students is proud to share as she learned to change the world through science. Watch for another story in next week’s Bulletin!

Abigail ‘27

The first step in growing my garden was gathering the materials. I bought around 20 bags of soil, including topsoil, compost, and potting soil. I also got seeds for the veggies I wanted to grow, wood for the bed, and some short and long screws. Then, with some help from my dad, we cut the wood and built the raised garden bed.  Next, we lined the bed with fabric, so the soil would not leak through the cracks. The next step was to fill the bed with a recommended soil blend:  60% topsoil, 30% compost, 10% potting soil. After that, I planted carrot, cucumber, and zucchini seeds and watered it thoroughly every other day. 

My project was fun to do, and I would for sure recommend it to anyone! I did lots of research, but overall it isn't that hard to start a garden. It was intriguing and interesting to learn all sorts of stuff about gardening. It's cool to know that the veggies that will soon be sitting on my dining room table were grown right in my own back yard!  

I learned multiple things while creating and growing my garden. One of them is how gardening helps the world.  Gardening in your own backyard can stop your support of big farms that cut down large masses of trees and plants. It can also help with your health because it gets you outside more. The garden also provides you with healthier food to eat, because the veggies aren't grown with pesticides and then shipped for many days.  Food from your back yard is much healthier!

I hope this project will help my classmates and our community learn lots about gardening and the steps in growing your own garden. 

Here are some photos of my work, and the final product:
 

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