The numbers are in, and this is the most packed Environmental Adventures ever! Students from different schools are coming to Austin College and Career Academy ready to have fun, learn, and a new addition to the environmental adventurers formula, competition!

We continue basics of ecology, climate, and natural selection through continued experiments including more crafts like our hanging bottle gardens and density towers. This season however we added the app Kahoot to our daily routine. Kahoot allows students to use their cellphones to answer questions in a live action classroom gameshow. These games are so popular students always ask for “just one more game!”.

The students started   in October learning about each other. Every day we greet each other and start our session with a circle where we share our names, feelings, and a daily question. Once we began to know each other we dived deeper to discuss our own environment, Austin, one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods and what we can do to improve it. Opinions varied dramatically. “Well as soon as I graduate I’m leaving and never coming back, the people here don’t care about anything but drugs” said one student who had seen some of the terror first hand. Another student countered “That’s fine but I’m staying this city is beautiful there is so much to do, it’s just this neighborhood”.

In our efforts to invest in our own community environmental adventures took part in “The Alliance for The Great Lakes Adopt a Beach program. Students learned the importance of fresh water and how living next to lake Michigan made Chicago so important. We compared 10 store brought water brands to our own tap water and came in 3rd in a blind taste and learned how long it takes various debris to biodegrade. During our Adopt a Beach day we selected Ohio Street Beach right by Navy Pier to visit and cleanup. We pulled out 3 large bags of trash from the sand! To celebrate our hard work we then visited Navy Pier for lunch!

Written By: Kyle Reid

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