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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Carter High School, Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, USA

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Carter High School, Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, USA
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andrewsimpson18



Registered: August 2012
City/Town/Province: Knoxville
Posts: 1
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I became aware of a fledgeling project at my high school last year as a junior. I was in AP Environmental Science, and we talked a little about the outdoor classroom that had been dreamed up, passed around, and somewhat overlooked. I became immediately interested in this project and soon became deeply involved.


The problem with this project was simple yet devastating: there was no one to take it on and no funding to move it along for those who wanted it to happen. I managed to solve both of these issues. In the spring of 2012, I applied for a grant from the Nation Environmental Education Foundation. Soon, I was notified that I had won $500 dollars to go directly into this project.


So I got the funding, but what about building it? I got that one covered too. I worked with a sponsor at the University of Tennessee Water Research program who coordinated Americorps team members, who work with science classrooms in the area, and with their help we got this classroom built.


That's not what I'm proud of, however. The best part is that the classroom is now one of the greatest educational tools teachers at my school have when trying to instill community pride, environmental stewardship, and general well roundedness into their students. The classroom not only serves as a place for students to learn (which is does quite well with its stage, seating for a full class, pathways, and plant and animal life), but it taught and will continue to teach students through direct involvement in its construction and maintenance. The classroom was built completely by students under the supervision of teachers and Americorps workers. We even got the carpentry class to build the stage and seating. Multiple classes came together and contributed all while learning about the natural environment.


Ultimately, the outdoor classroom is a huge piece of work that encompasses not only myself or the direct people around me, but a nine-hundred person student body and a whole community. The community is what this project is about, and more specifically, education in it. The fastest way to change a society's attitude and actions is from the ground up. This means educating today's young people about the world around them. The American and world environment has become too politicized in today's climate. This is what we want to change. By building a place that is shutoff from the day to day rhetoric of mainstream America, we hope to let students step into another world if only for an hour or so. This world should be free of pressure and will ultimately foster the love for learning, stewardship, and general well being that this rising generation needs to have towards the world around them. Our world is facing great problems in the coming years, but I believe that these problems must be faced in every aspect possible. I found a way to do this via education, and I made it happen. This is a project that has, is, and will change the attitude of the young people who come through it.
Date: August 31, 2012 Views: 5860 File size: 18.1kb, 2134.9kb : 3648 x 2736
Hours Volunteered: 400
Volunteers: 100
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 13 to 50
Native Trees Planted: 6
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