The third quarter of the Community Adventure Program (CAP) for the 2010-2011 school year came to a close as spring started to emerge around us. While the class was very excited for a week of relaxation, spring break meant no more CAP. It was a little bittersweet for all of us after a very enjoyable and successful two months. The intelligent and fun nature of the students, the overnights, and Action Project created a very effective learning experience in CAP.
“Over the past quarter of taking CAP, I feel as if I have grown more as a person than I have from any other class in a very long time. Even though CAP defies the laws of conventional academics, I feel as if I pushed my brain to think harder about the world than I would have in any purely academic class.” -Alexander R. Brown
Spontaneous Colorado weather allowed for the quarter to start out on a positive note with a few beautiful hikes at Chautauqua Park. From the beginning, the students in the class started building relationships with each other to create an inclusive community that nicely balanced silliness and hard work. On the trails and in the classroom, students learned about different plants we can find here in Colorado, outdoor skills, environmental issues, and prepared for the exciting overnights.
“I felt that the most calming time of the whole of CAP was looking out into Brainard Lake. I felt very isolated but very connected at the same time.” – Luke Jirman
“CAP is still the most amazing class as far as I’m concerned, and I have a whole list of new experiences under my belt as a bonus.” – Maddy Green
With that foundational enthusiasm, students became very interested in exploring energy consumption and efficiency. A field-trip to two LEED certified buildings, the North Boulder Recreation Center and Casey Middle School, inspired the 3rd Quarter CAP Action Project that focused on raising awareness about how much energy New Vista consumes and ways to reduce the carbon footprint. The students learned a lot about energy, lighting, and working together as a group.
“Our Action Project has shown me how inefficient we are at home and at school and how it can be changed so that we can use less energy to do the things we do every day.” -Meagan Traylor
“All in all,this has been one of the best learning experiences a high school student can get.” -Hannah Tuton
“My favorite part about our class is our willingness to share their thoughts and opinions and skills with everyone else. The outstanding aspect of this class that has been shown to me is that being yourself and showing your own ideas and perspectives makes it all the better…” -Luke Jirman
This article was written by Sinead Maguire and edited by Madeline Bachner.
The Earth Task Force held their S.U.P.E.R. Summit (Students Understanding Personal Environmental Responsibility) on November 11th, 2010 at Casey Middle School. The Summit attracted over 70 participants and eight different school groups committed to creating environmental change within their high schools and larger community.
Throughout the day the students discussed sustainability goals that have already been successful for them, improvements they’d like to make at their schools, and strategies for creating change. These discussions were held in an open space format, led by the students themselves, which contributed to making the event a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Through open dialogue and other activities through the day students and their mentors made invaluable connections with other schools and members of the community, which will surely benefit each environmental club in their future endeavors.
Attendees at the S.U.P.E.R. Summit were also provided with community support. Thirteen different community partners volunteered their time and extended their resources to help students with future and current Action Projects.
In addition to the wonderful eight high schools and thirteen community partners in attendance, the Earth Task Force was also honored to have Boulder County Commissioner, Will Toor, BVSD’s Assistant Superintendent, Joe Sleeper, and President of the BVSD Board of Education, Ken Roberge attend the summit.
Overall this event was a great success! The creative ideas that developed during the summit were impressive. We look forward to seeing the outcome of all the passionate students who attended the event. After meeting so many passionate, inspired people of all ages, we expect nothing but brilliance from this group of leaders.
This summit goes to show that when you come together as a community there is not limit as to what can be achieved.
For a link to pictures from the event, Click Here (Thanks ACE!)
To download a copy of the Open Space Discussion Notes, Click Here.
Stay tuned for a video about the event coming soon…
This article was written by Marissa Bramlett and edited by Paige Doughty.
After a wildly successful inaugural year, the Cottonwood Institute‘s Earth Task Force at New Vista High School is taking on a new challenge this year to host Boulder Valley School District‘s first student-directed environmental summit called Students Understanding Personal Environmental Responsibility, also known as the S.U.P.E.R. Summit.
High school students and teachers from all over the district will gather at Casey Middle School, one of the greenest schools in the district, on Thursday, November 11, 2010 from 10am – 3pm to connect, collaborate, and create an action plan to help reduce their school’s environmental footprint.
Using an open space meeting format, participants will help create the agenda to choose their own adventure, plan their adventure, and share their adventure to help their schools and their community reduce their environmental footprint. We are also excited to feature an amazing, dynamic, and inspiring presentation from the Alliance for Climate Education and a chance to network with local environmental organizations.
A special thanks goes out to Earth Task Force students, Paige Doughty, Kate Hartman, Andy Stephens, Ghita Carrol from the Boulder Valley School District, and Amy Atkins from Alliance for Climate Education for working tirelessly over the past few months to put this event together.
This event is free and open to all BVSD high school students and teachers! Best of all, BVSD high school environmental groups will be eligible to receive a $200 starter grant from Alliance for Climate Education to help execute their action plan.
To register for this event, please contact Ghita Carroll at 720.561.5181 or via Email by November 8th, 2010. For media inquiries, please contact Ghita Carroll or Ford Church, at 303.447.1076 or via Email. For a full agenda, Click Here.