Nashua students and educators attend Sustainability Summit
The Sustainability Summit took place May 24-26 at Loyola University Chicago in partnership with the Goethe-Institut. Four teachers, along with 15 students, were able to get an all-expenses paid trip.
While in Chicago, students and teachers learned about reducing carbon emissions and developing paths for a sustainable future. They discussed the use of electric vehicles and how to combat climate change. They even took part in hands-on experimental workshops.
In addition, students were able to learn about the links between science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and Germany.
Nashua High School South German teacher Kim Vitchkoski said Germany is very forward-thinking when it comes to the motto reduce, reuse and recycle. Students and teachers were able to take part in workshops that saw them envision their futures and develop ideas around how a better future could look.
They were also able to participate in podium discussions that centered around questions such as, “Why isn’t everyone driving an electric vehicle?”
When they weren’t taking part in podium discussions, they were experimenting.
Separately, teachers also had the chance to participate in professional development by learning techniques on implementing sustainability into their curriculum.
The keynote speaker of the weekend was Jaimie Cloud, founder and president of the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education in New York City. The Cloud Institute brings awareness around the importance of creating a sustainable future.
Vitchkoski said the event featured a variety of workshops for the students and teachers. Many were role-playing games, such as making decisions on keeping water clean and reducing waste.
Vitchkoski, who traveled to Chicago with Nashua High School North German teacher Neha Joshi and Nashua High School South Engineering teacher Teressa Rossetti, said each teacher was able to bring a few of their students. They chose the students who seemed the most concerned about issues surrounding sustainability. She said many of the students plan on going into careers in science.
“These seemed to be the kids who cared (about sustainability) to begin with, and even more now after the workshops,” Vitchkoski said.
Aside from learning more about what they are interested in, the students also had the chance to meet others from across the U.S. More than 1,000 people attended the event.
Vitchkoski said she hopes they will be able to have the chance to attend again.