Ecology and Conservation

In the age of VSCO girls and metal straws, we know climate change is a hot topic.  But what does it really mean?  What are the real causes and the real effects?  And what can we do? In this 30 week course we will study ecology, including but not limited to, our human relationship to our environment and the habitats of other living organisms.  We will delve into the science of conservation and the drivers of waste in our fast paced, materialistic, modern world.  What makes something recyclable?  How can we properly dispose of waste?  What can we reduce the use of to impact change?

China is not longer taking our recyclables, coral reefs are bleaching and our oceans are full of plastic.  We will study global climate initiatives, waster reduction initiatives by individuals- their successes and failures.  After we gain an understanding of what we are up against globally, we will find ways we can effect positive change locally. 

Students will work in groups and create two proposals.  1) A pitch for a local clean up.  They will propose an area they are familiar with that needs to be cleaned and as a class, we will vote on the area most in need and clean it together.  2) An environmental impact initiative. As a class we will vote on the initiative most feasible and likely to effect change and work to carry it out. 

With hands on experiments (like building a water filtration device) and loads of research (what is the most effective way to recycle? How are scientists repopulating coral reefs?) by the completion of the course, students will have a working knowledge of their impact on our environment.  But more so, they will have an awareness that their actions matter and they will be empowered to effect change.

Field trips will include a visit to The Farm Park in Germantown to learn about sustainable living and a trip to the winning location for a clean up. 

Students will need internet access.  Assignments and reading materials / links will be shared on Schoology. 

Homework time will vary depending on students drive and depth of study.  Plan at least 90 mins of research time per week.  Parent involvement will be required in transporting students to/from field trips. 

Thursday

Time: 10:45-12:15
Grade: Grades 6-8
Class Fees: $350
Supply fee: $85
(Supply fee includes all supplies and texts )
Tutor: Candace Fortino

COVID-19 Contingency Plan:
In the event that the COVID-19 pandemic affects our ability to meet in person in a classroom for the 2020-21 school year, I will make the following adjustments to this class. Tutor and students will meet at the scheduled class time via a video chat service. Assignments can be submitted electronically, and feedback will be provided electronically.  Group projects and group collaboration will be encouraged via online methods, but adjustments will be made as needed.  Our goal is to meet in person as soon as it is feasible. We may begin classroom meetings at any point during the school year as the COVID-19 situation resolves.