By Liam Monheim V Form, Erica Christensen VI Form, Sarah Robertson V Form, and Jazzy Randle VI Form
In Advanced Environmental Science, we have stopped doing modules and problem sets and instead are beginning a project that will take us until the end of February. Our class is split into groups of three and four. The project is to create an Essential Question and a Challenge that we will then address and attempt to solve.
The only specification for our Challenge is that it must relate to energy. In order to help generate ideas for Challenge, we wrote down observations on the campus of St. Mark’s relating to energy. We asked administrators, teachers, and students about their thoughts on St. Mark’s’ energy usage and made our own observations. We then wrote each observation down on sticky notes and organized them into three categories: Actions and Behaviors, Systems and Structures, and Thoughts, Beliefs, and Feelings. After looking for common themes among our group’s sticky notes, we wrote down what seemed to be the main issues we had identified and came up with an Essential Question pertaining to that theme.
Our group’s Essential Question is:
How do small, individual changes affect our community’s energy usage?
We found that the major ideas and situations we observed were individual actions, like shutting windows and turning the lights off. That inspired our Essential Question, which we think is very relevant at St. Mark’s particularly.
Once we created our Essential Question, we had to create a Challenge from it. Our Challenge is:
Encourage specific positive individual actions in our community in order to improve our energy usage and environmental impact.
The Challenge is meant to take the Essential Question and make it an “immediate call to action.” The goal is to make a Challenge that we can attempt to solve at St. Mark’s but will also have national and global significance.
After we identified our Challenge, we began to create questions we had pertaining to how we’d approach it as well as actions we will take to help us answer our question. We considered data and information we might need, people we might contact and interview, places we could visit, and surveys and comparisons we could conduct. This phase is the research phase of our project, and it will last for the next couple of months in order to be fully informed when we begin to structure how we might solve our Challenge.
We will return to LEO with our final project, findings, and product!