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May 17, 2012
This week we share with you an email that we received from Beth Mowry. Beth teaches Earth Science, Climate Change and Paleontology to BCS High School students and is also the mother of Ian in Elissa’s fourth grade class. Her email captures the big idea of BNS and BCS, and her words are worth thinking about.
Alyce and Anna
Hi, Alyce and Anna,
I wanted to share an observation that I made today at the American Museum of Natural History. I was there with a small group of students doing field work for my climate change class. Our high school students were intensely focused, in the Hall of Biodiversity, gathering information to help them design their final product for this investigation - a full-period lesson that they will be teaching their peers about their focus area. While our students were engaged in reading text, watching short movies, intensely taking notes on paper and on their phones, and talking about their discoveries with their peers, gaggles of other high school students on "field trips" walked quickly past all exhibits, chatting or texting with their friends. At that moment, I was so proud of the work that we do with students and proud that we know the difference between "field trips" and "field work".
Then, after we allowed the kids to explore parts of the museum on their own for 45 minutes, I decided to go to a wing of the museum that I have not spent much time in. To get there, I had to navigate through hoards of elementary school students wandering through exhibits, being wrangled by their teachers, trying to see as much of the museum as they could. I turned the corner and saw two students, sitting on the floor in front of the Black Rhino diorama, sketching and making detailed observations, so engrossed in their work, ignoring the noise and chaos around them. Who were these children? Ilana's third grade class on field work for their Africa study - of course.
I love our community of learners!
BCS Earth Science, Climate Change and Paleontology