Newton’s Envi Sci Program for Teens

In our busy suburban world, kids don’t get to experience nature much unless it’s planned into their schedules. That’s why Newton’s Environmental Science Program for teens is special. This 2005 episode travels along with teens as they go hiking, biking, canoeing, and climbing. They visit woods and ponds, the Charles River, parks, a salt marsh, and mountains, winding up with a stay at the highest peak in the northeast (Mount Washington). They also participate in a hands-on environmental cleanup project each year. As several of the teens point out, they make friends and have fun while they’re out there. The summer program was started by Newton teachers in the 1960’s with a Ford Foundation grant designed to get kids out into the environment instead of learning about it only through books and labs. The program now operates under the Newton Conservation Commission. Many of the students eventually become leaders in the program, trained to teach their younger peers what they have learned about plants and animals, geology, and ecology. In fact, many of the participants go on to careers in science. All carry with them a lifetime appreciation for our natural environment.

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