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Environmental Science Class Presents Findings at Area Middle School
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Environmental Science Class Presents Findings at Area Middle School

Results of climate change study shared with Herberg School sixth grade students

On May 11, 2017, Environmental Science teacher Leah Penniman and her class traveled to Herberg Middle School in Pittsfield, MA, to present the results of their month-long climate change study to sixth-grade students there.

According to Penniman,  students spent the last month studying the evidence of climate change on the Darrow campus. Specifically, they compared the timing of phenological events, like apple trees blossoming and frogs calling, between the 1800s and present day, using Shaker journals for the historical data. (See the attached image of a poster depicting the comparison of timing for natural events then and now.) The students also measured how much carbon (a greenhouse gas) is trapped by our campus forests each year and compared that to our emissions. 

"They found out that we absorb more than we emit," Penniman said. "The students then went to Herberg to teach students there about climate change and how they can get involved as citizen scientists to measure it."

One group, she said, had the students interview "trees" (human actors) about how their phenophases have changed over time. Another group led a game where students stepped forward or back depending on the climate-impactful choices they make. 

"It was such a wonderful lesson, and our students really enjoyed the presentations & interactive activities," said Herberg science teachers Ellen Lantz and Karen Cross Losardo.

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