WRENTHAM — Superintendent Paul Zinni is pleased to report that King Philip Regional High School science teachers Gretchen Pickart and Joseph Giancioppo, along with 30 KPRHS students, attended a Youth Climate Action Summit held at Wheaton College on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
The summit was put on by Mass Audubon, in partnership with the Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary.
The goal of the summit was to equip area high school students with skills, knowledge and inspiration to take effective action in mitigating the effects of climate change at the local level.
The all-day event brought together a diverse group of approximately 200 students and teachers from Plainville, Sharon, Wrentham, Attleboro and Norfolk, providing opportunities to build leadership and organizational skills to serve the students during school and beyond.
Participants learned to identify, explore and understand the most important principles and concepts of climate science, under the direction of Mass Audubon staff and Wheaton professors and students.
“This summit was a great opportunity for our students and teachers to interact together outside of the classroom, and for our students to see firsthand how passionate their teachers are about the topics they teach,” King Philip Regional High School Science Department Head Ann Lambert said. “It was also clear how well prepared our students were to discuss climate change, based on the work they’ve done in their KP science classes.”
Students will next create locally relevant Climate Action Plans that they can implement in their schools and/or communities. Students and teachers are now in the development phase of their action plans.
Lambert said she worked with Stony Brook representatives to help plan the summit during the spring, and that Pickart took part in the final planning stages.
Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary Director Doug Williams said that all who attended were very impressed by the summit.
“The enthusiasm, interest and engagement from every student was something I had not anticipated or witnessed previously,” Williams said. “I believe that every person was excited to be attending and determined to move us in a positive direction. I was also impressed by the level of knowledge and respect everyone brought to the discussions.”
Williams said he looks forward to more ways for Mass Audubon and Stony Brook to engage the community in discussions that revolve around the changing climate. He added that he sat in on the King Philip students’ discussions where they shared their thoughts, argued their points and worked together to move their ideas forward.