It was great to feel the energy and commitment of our students and faculty this first week back after spring break. As part of our Forum Speaker Series, Upper School students heard from journalist Fen Montaigne of Yale Environment 360
about his travels to the Arctic and Antarctic and the science behind our changing climate. The engaging presentation included images and data that many of us adults are already familiar with — underweight polar bears, vanishing glaciers — yet in aggregate over the course of an hour, the documentation and Mr. Montaigne’s eye-witness accounts were startling and impactful.
Our students’ thoughtful questions reflected a respect for the complexity of the dynamics at play, as they know it is their generation that inherits a planet with rising temperatures, sea levels and populations worldwide. For example, one asked that if we have to build machines to extract carbon from the atmosphere, wouldn’t the benefits be undermined by the pollution generated while building those very machines? Another wondered when, approximately, we would hit a “point of no return” for the environment’s demise.
I am convinced that virtually any career our students choose to pursue will require their agility and creativity with respect to resources, the environment, ethics and solutions. So part and parcel of an excellent education today is providing students the opportunity to consider real-world issues through their academic disciplines. Environmental responsibility is integrated into the Tower Hill experience through student opportunities such as the Lower School Earth Day Walk, the Middle School Environmental Engineers IDEA Program and the environmental science course and Environmental Club in the Upper School.
Those of you who were able to attend yesterday’s Envisioning Tower Hill
Strategic Planning Parent Sessions (there is still time to RSVP for next week’s here
) learned that the committee is recommending strengthening this commitment through a formal, school-wide Environmental Stewardship initiative. Projects like rain gardens, recycling and energy conservation are examples of everyday ways we can care for the planet as part of school life. We look forward to seeing students’ ideas and solutions in this realm, here at Tower Hill and as innovators and entrepreneurs after they graduate.
This weekend, do take some time to consider the miracle and beauty of our natural world, especially as spring flirts with us!