.

From Field to Classroom

The Transformative Stories of National Grid Foundation Teach Earth Educators

Five Boston Public School teachers traveled on Earthwatch expeditions to study wildlife and ecosystems alongside scientists, thanks to funding from the National Grid Foundation. Hear from these teachers as they share their experiences and how they’ll bring their new knowledge back to their classrooms.

.

.

The National Grid Foundation, a long-standing supporter of education and environmental stewardship, has once again partnered with Earthwatch's Teach Earth fellowship program to fund an extraordinary opportunity for several dedicated teachers.

These educators embarked on unique research expeditions, gaining hands-on experience in environmental science and conservation. Their stories, rich with adventure and insight, are personal triumphs and a beacon of inspiration for their students back home.

In 2023, our Teach Earth fellows ventured from the bustling streets of Massachusetts hometowns to diverse ecosystems in Nevada and Costa Rica. Their experiences, filled with scientific discovery and personal growth, have equipped them with new perspectives and techniques to enrich their teaching and deeply engage their students in environmental science and conservation.

.

.

Marc Abelson

Science Teacher, Grades K–3, Lee Academy, Boston, MA
Joined Conserving Marine Mammals in Costa Rica

Earthwatch Teach Earth Fellow, Marc AbelsonEntering my third year of teaching science to young learners, the Teach Earth fellowship reinvigorated my passion. The journey to Costa Rica, where I immersed myself in conserving marine mammals, was a profound learning experience. Witnessing first-hand scientists' dedication to preserving whales and dolphins was inspiring. Despite limited resources and the enormity of their task, they showed incredible perseverance in pursuing a Marine Protected Habitat designation for the Osa peninsula. 

My classroom will come alive with tales of Golfo Dulce, the majestic humpback whales, and playful bottlenose dolphins. I plan to use photos and videos from my expedition to illustrate scientific practices, from data collection to animal behavior observation. We will also explore a roosterfish necropsy, offering my students a unique perspective on marine life. This opportunity has enhanced my teaching and deepened my commitment to environmental education.

.

.

M. Elizabeth Self
Early Childhood Teacher, East Boston Early Education Center, Boston, MA
Joined Caterpillars and Climate Change in Nevada

Elizabeth Self in the field.The visible impacts of climate change on my students in East Boston drove me to the Teach Earth Fellowship. Our expedition involved detailed fieldwork, where I directly studied plants, pollinators, and their interdependencies. I was struck by the realization that every contribution, no matter how small, is vital in ecological research. I'm excited to bring this experience into my classroom. We will embark on a journey of discovering local flora and fauna, emphasizing each organism's role in our ecosystem. I look forward to teaching my students how to observe, document, and understand our local environment. This project will foster environmental stewardship and enhance their observational skills and appreciation for nature.

.

.

Aisha Dumbuya
Classroom Teacher, Grades K and K1, Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School, Roxbury, MA
Joined Caterpillars and Climate Change in Nevada

Aisha Dumbuya in the field.My Teach Earth experience, centered around caterpillars and climate change in Nevada, was a revelation. Learning about these small creatures' significant role in our ecosystem and the broader impacts of climate change was eye-opening. During summer school, I introduced my young scholars to the concept of climate change and its significance. We embarked on a hands-on learning journey, creating two gardens in our school plots and understanding the difference between invasive and non-invasive species. I tailored the learning experience to be relevant and comprehensible through games and interactive activities, enabling them to communicate what they learned to their families. My goal is to instill an early understanding and respect for the environment in my students, empowering them to be conscientious future leaders. The fellowship has provided me with invaluable tools and a supportive community to continue this important work.

.

.

Isabel Ambrosoli
English Language Arts Teacher, Grades 11 & 12, TechBoston Academy, Dorchester, MA
Joined Conserving Marine Mammals in Costa Rica

Earthwatch Teach Earth Fellow, Isabel AmbrosoliAs an English teacher, I've always sought to integrate various subjects into my curriculum. The Teach Earth Fellowship was a perfect opportunity to deepen my understanding of environmental science and conservation. Being immersed in nature and witnessing the interplay of ecosystems was a grounding experience. It reinforced my commitment to conservation and sparked new ideas for bringing these concepts into the classroom. 

I'm currently developing a thematic unit on conservation, blending scientific literature with creative writing. This approach aims to give students a holistic view of conservation globally and in their immediate surroundings. I aim to empower students to participate in environmental stewardship actively, understanding the importance of their actions and contributions.

.

.

Each of these teachers is now equipped with new knowledge and experiences, poised to impact inside and outside their classrooms. By integrating real-world environmental science into their teaching, they educate the next generation of environmental advocates and instill a sense of wonder and responsibility towards our planet.

Since its inception in 1975, Teach Earth has been a pioneer in teacher professional development, combining hands-on field research with educational innovation. We thank the National Grid Foundation for their continued support and commitment to education and environmental stewardship.

.

.

A special thank you to the National Grid Foundation for funding these teachers’ fellowships!

Are you a high school teacher, or do you know someone who is searching for an opportunity to participate in a hands-on field science experience? Learn more about the Teach Earth program!

.

Sign up for the Earthwatch Newsletter

Stay informed on Earthwatch news and updates by filling out the form below.

.

.

.