Nicodemus Wilderness Project
Nicodemus Wilderness Project
About Us Projects Education Links Volunteers Membership  
Nicodemus Wilderness Project

 
 
  Shop for Eco-Socks  
  Join  
 
 
 
 

NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Shenendehowa Middle Schools, Clifton Park, New York, USA

« ++ ·
http://www.wildernessproject.org/apprentice_ecologist/data/500/thumbs/11101110griner.jpg
<<
http://www.wildernessproject.org/apprentice_ecologist/data/500/thumbs/11071107hasan2.jpg
<
http://www.wildernessproject.org/apprentice_ecologist/data/500/thumbs/11041104102-0270_IMG.JPG
·
http://www.wildernessproject.org/apprentice_ecologist/data/500/thumbs/10291029IMG_9425.JPG
>
http://www.wildernessproject.org/apprentice_ecologist/data/500/thumbs/10771077planting1_2_.jpg
>>
· ++ »

Shenendehowa Middle Schools, Clifton Park, New York, USA
(Click on photo to view larger image)

MonrHoll



Registered: August 2007
Posts: 1
View this Member's Photo Gallery
The Hubert Peak for oil depletion has been surpassed. The hole in the ozone layer has reached a record size of over 10 million square miles. Human population is increasing exponentially and current energy forms cannot sustain such numbers. It is these shocking statistics that encouraged me to delve deeper into alternate energy forms. Upon realizing that there is an ample amount of clean, dependable, sustainable energy that has yet to be utilized, I decided to pass on my knowledge to others.


Starting in December, I researched, fundraised, planned, and executed an Alternate Energy School Program for eighth grade students in my school district’s, Shenendehowa’s, three middle schools, Acadia, Gowana, and Koda. The first step of my project was to partner with a science teacher and work out a schedule where I would be able to teach in her classes. Due to time constraints, we were only able to work out three days, whereas I would have liked to have taught for an entire week. Nevertheless, I took the allotted time enthusiastically and went about deciding which energy forms I would include in my lesson plans. I decided that, due to significance and appeal, I would introduce all forms of alternate energy and then focus of geothermal, solar, hydrogen, and wind. After making these decisions, I embarked upon my journey of creating lesson plans and accompanying sheets.


In an effort to engage the students’ interest, I avoided typical lectures and focused more on interactive lessons. However, I soon realized that the teaching aids I would need were going to require significant funds, so I began to plan a fundraiser. Due to past success with bottle and can drives, as well as their correlation to my project’s no-impact environmental theme, I planned to collect recyclables in three local neighborhoods, one being my own. In order to explain my project and fundraiser to potential contributors, I created flyers that, with the help of family and friends, were distributed on mailboxes and posters that were displayed at neighborhood entrances and exists. Next I enlisted volunteers to assist with the collection, separation, and bagging of bottles and cans. Over the course of two weekends, we collected 12,726 returnables, which amounted to $636.30.


With the fundraising money in the bank, I was able to begin making the purchases necessary to complete my lessons. These purchases included: supplies for a geothermal lab, a Power House kit, two Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars, a four-and-a-half foot windmill with bike generator and light, and supplies for creating a Jeopardy board. With these materials, I was able to integrate my lessons so that they included an educational element with notes, fill-in-the-blank worksheets, and PowerPoint displays. I added a component of fun with a lab, models showing energy in work, and games.


June seemed to approach unnoticed, and before I knew it my teaching days were upon me. In total, I taught fifteen, forty minute classes that averaged twenty five students in each class. Although things started out shaky with a troublesome geothermal lab, they improved come the lessons on solar, hydrogen, and wind energy. At the conclusion of my three days, I asked the students to fill out evaluation forms assessing my project. From their comments, I was able to deduce that they enjoyed the hydrogen fuel cell cars the most because it allowed them to see how things as simple as sunlight and water can be used as fuel. The students also indicated that they would have liked to have had more time to study the different energy forms. Some noteworthy comments include: “My favorite activity was playing with the fuel cars outside because it was interesting to see how quickly the energy was able to be absorbed,” “[My favorite activity was] steam turbines because it was helping me learn about electricity,” “[My favorite topic was] wind power because it’s cool to see 20ft propellers moved by wind,” and “It was fun to learn about alternate energy and the future’s technology.”


Even after the teaching aspect of my project was completed, I still was not done. I believe that alternate energy is a topic of increasing popularity and importance; it is therefore a topic that all students should be familiarized with at an early age, not just the 125 I had the privilege of working with. In order to make my vision a reality, I spent the remaining money from my fundraiser to buy supplies to construct lesson plan binders for all eight grade science teachers in my school district. In these binders I included copies of lesson plan outlines, student notes sheets and their keys, labs and their keys, homework sheets and their keys, PowerPoint presentations on CDs, and games, including a magnetic Jeopardy board. In addition to hard copies of all of these items, I also provided teachers with a backup CD in case papers are misplaced or accidentally ruined. I prefaced all of this information with a letter describing my project goals and the availability of teaching aids purchased for their use. I delivered these binders to six teachers, including the one with which I was working, in hopes of them continuing my project.


Reflecting upon my Alternate Energy School Program, I realize that it is the embodiment of the Apprentice Ecologist Initiative. As stated in the mission statement, my project elevated me into a leadership role, both amongst my peers and younger children. My project also focuses on rebuilding the environment. I showed the students that there are forms of energy, other than oil and gasoline, which can provide for the needs of the community. With this knowledge, they are more likely to be open-minded when confronted with technological innovations. Additionally, the interactive lessons helped peak their interest, making it possible for the students to pursue the topic of alternate energy further and even partake in future discoveries.


END OF ESSAY



Post-Project Interview with NWP:


WHERE DO YOU ATTEND OR PLAN TO ATTEND COLLEGE AND WHAT IS YOUR FIELD OF STUDY/INTEREST?

I am currently in the process of deciding which college is best suited for
my interests. I have been accepted into all four universities to which I
applied, Rochester Institute of Technology, Clarkson University, State
University of New York at Buffalo, and Wentworth Institute of Technology.
Once I select my college, I will enroll in the Environmental Engineering
(or the college’s equivalent major, taking into account minor terminological differences between university course selections) program
for my major with Alternate Energy, if possible, as a concentration. I am
also considering Genetic Engineering or Applied Mathematics as a minor.

HOW WILL YOU USE THIS SCHOLARSHIP TOWARD YOUR EDUCATION AND HOW WILL IT HELP RELIEVE YOUR FINANCIAL BURDEN?

This scholarship will be exceptionally helpful towards my education
because it will help relieve some of the monetary burden associated with
admission to a university. The select few colleges that feature my desired
major are expensive, especially the two universities that I am heavily
considering, Rochester Institute of Technology and Clarkson University.

BESIDES THIS SCHOLARSHIP, HOW ELSE WILL YOU BE PAYING FOR YOUR ACADEMIC AND RELATED EXPENSES WHILE IN COLLEGE?

Besides this award, I will be using a combination of other scholarships,
honors program discounts, summer work, and loans to fund my education. I
am also considering applying for a paid leadership position, such as
Resident Assistant, at my university to further reduce overall tuition
costs.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE EDUCATIONAL, CAREER, AND LIFE GOALS?

Since seventh grade, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in science
and/or technology. Furthering my education in this area, as well as my
interests in other scholastic pursuits, community service, and journalism,
will guide me to my objective.

I have singled out alternate energy as an area of special interest. This
specific topic has captured my attention because of its sheer importance;
the topics of decreasing oil supplies, increasing gas prices, pollution of
the environment, global warming, etc. are constantly in the news, and
therefore issues that clearly need to be addressed. I believe that by
pursuing a career in this field, I will help further the Energy Revolution,
which will improve both the environment and the economic status of the
nation. Next year I will attend college and major in Environmental
Engineering with a concentration, if possible, in Alternate Energy.

I would also enjoy studying Genetic Engineering and/or Applied
Mathematics. These two pursuits have ample application that, when used
responsibly, have the potential of improving the world through logical
thought and ethical modification of nature. I trust that by amassing all
of my career interests, I will be able to have a profound impact on the
scientific and technological communities.

In spite of the fact that science and technology are my primary loves, I
believe that my other interests will equally influence my future. For
example, my commitment to helping others may manifest itself in my
participation in environmental clean-up projects. My involvement in
journalism, stemming from my position as Editor-in-Chief of both the school
newspaper and regional Girl Scout magazine, may result in my accepting of
the position as a writer or editor of a scientific journal. My evolved
love for camping, developed through thirteen years of Girl Scouts,
strengthens my conviction to no-impact environmental activities. My
skills, talents, and education will inevitably shape my decisions for the
future.

Ultimately, I endeavor to live my life such that I “become the
change I want to see in the world” – be it through science,
technology, or volunteerism.

HOW HAS YOUR APPRENTICE ECOLOGIST INITIATIVE PROJECT ENRICHED YOUR LIFE?

In addition to benefiting my community, my Apprentice
Initiative project has also enriched my life. First of all, I found it
rewarding to spark student interest in an area not currently part of their
curriculum, yet extremely important to the needs of today’s society.
Through this project I have also learned many life lessons and further
improved specific skills. I learned that it can often be difficult to
motivate others (especially when exhaustion has set in, such as at the end
of the school year) to learn a new subject. I learned that in order for me
to be a good motivator, I must capture my students’ interest via
exciting demonstrations, labs, and games. It is also helpful to appear
enthused one’s self. The act of teaching also improved my
leadership, speaking, and interpersonal skills; skills that are needed to
lead a successful career and life.


WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE LONG-TERM BENEFITS TO YOUTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT MADE POSSIBLE BY THE APPRENTICE ECOLOGIST INITIATIVE?

In terms of my own project, I showed students that there are forms of
energy, other than oil and gasoline, which can provide for the needs of the
community. With this knowledge, they are more likely to be open-minded
when confronted with technological innovations. Additionally, their
interest was engaged via the interactive lessons, making it possible for
the students to pursue the topic of alternate energy further and even
partake in future discoveries.

In more broad terms, I believe that the Apprentice Ecologist Initiative
reinforces the concept set forth in the Native American proverb, “We
do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our
children.” Philosophies such as this echo the sentiments set forth
in the Nicodemus Mission statement. What it comes down to is that
environmental stewardship must be practiced so that generations to come
will also be able to experience the grander of nature’s wonders. _ _

WHY DO YOU FEEL IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE AN ACTIVE STEWARD OF THE ENVIRONMENT NOW AND IN THE FUTURE?

Being an active steward of the environment is vital because it
ensures the preservation of the world as we know it. The sad fact of the
matter is that progress often brings sacrifice. We need to make an effort
to secure nature’s magnificence, protect our wildlife, and preserve a
healthy environment in conjunction with our technological and scientific
advances. Otherwise, sacrifices in this area could lead to a Catch 22 of
chasing health, economic, and financial calamities.
· Date: August 17, 2007 · Views: 9667 · File size: 20.3kb, 156.3kb · : 1125 x 1500 ·
Hours Volunteered: 166
Volunteers: 9
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16 to 51
Print View
Show EXIF Info