On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, McAuliffe 8th grade scholars presented a culmination of their learning expedition, “Climate Change”, to families and community members. In this expedition, scholars used data and evidence to evaluate the role of human activities in rising global temperatures.  Scholars reviewed weather and climate data, and learned about the factors that contribute to climate change. They used our school’s building as a case study to research power efficacies and alternatives that McAuliffe could adopt to reduce the school’s carbon footprint. Our hope is to decrease McAuliffe’s carbon footprint a little bit each year.

Scholars conducted a fishbowl presentation where guests heard an academic discussion about all the ways McAuliffe could potentially reduce its carbon footprint.  At the end of the evening, a small group of scholars presented the Class of 2019’s recommendations to achieve this reduction goal to McAuliffe’s Board of Trustees. The presentation was live streamed to each of the classroom’s small groups.

Christina Morello, McAuliffe’s Math and Science Coach said “There is something magical about an authentic audience and asking kids to ‘dress for success’.  Every time we have an event, I am always stunned by how ALL our scholars rise to the occasion. This year, for the first time, we had all scholars perform in an academic debate as part of the evening.  It was fantastic all around and I couldn’t be more proud of this eighth grade cohort!”

Part of McAuliffe’s expeditionary learning program calls for scholars to produce high-quality work; the whole school supports, celebrates, and reflects on student work in order to create a culture of excellence. Creating real work for real audiences motivates scholars to develop perseverance and realize that they can do more than they ever thought they could.