Mr. Lee Jones, who has taught science at AHA for nine years, has been making strides with his new curriculum in climate science. Mr. Jones attended a conference last summer at St. John’s University that educated teachers on how to better discuss the science of climate change. From there, he quickly knew he wanted to get more involved with climate change curriculum. Following the conference, Mr. Jones earned graduate credits where he developed new curriculum which has allowed him the opportunity to bring his ideas to the benefit of his students in the chemistry, pre-advance placement chemistry, and environmental engineering classes that he teaches. The main idea behind Mr. Jones’ way of teaching is that he aims to interweave and interconnect the science of climate change to everyday science classes instead of teaching climate science as a separate and singular topic.
Another area that Mr. Jones is sharing his experience on climate science with is through his work as the staff lead for the student group Sustainability Club. Last year, the Sustainability Club was first formed and quickly drew a large cohort of students across AHA. The initial club set a goal surrounding reducing plastic use and successfully fundraised and installed two filtered water stations in the school. This year's focus for the club is to take a closer look at AHA's waste to better understand how much is going to landfills versus being recycled. This month, the 30+ members of the Sustainability Club plan to analyze the lunchroom garbages and help lead a food waste audit. Mr. Jones and the club are also continually looking for opportunities for solar installation and hope this will be a consideration for the school sometime in the future.
When asked what motivates him on his work in climate education, Mr. Jones gave much credit to the students, saying, "As I’ve gotten older, it has been motivating and encouraging for me to see that this generation of students is very passionate about climate science and they don’t let anything hold them back. This group of students simply says 'This is a problem and we want to do something about it!' It’s really inspiring for me to watch them learn and engage in this important curriculum and have a desire to make changes right here at AHA."
Pictured above: In January, Mr. Jones and members of the Sustainability Club led an audit of AHA's garbage and recycling during lunch hour to see if there are any areas of waste management in which AHA can improve. They will use their results to build upon the school's recycling efforts.