In 2013-’14, juniors at EL Mentor School Casco Bay High School for Expeditionary Learning in Portland, ME, were presented with the realities of climate change and asked to examine their role in effecting change. They launched the year with a study of greenhouse gases and researched, drafted and presented to experts their own public policy proposals aimed at addressing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Armed with expertise, they then traveled as a class to the Rockaways in New York, an area devastated one year earlier by Hurricane Sandy, to assist in reconstruction efforts while working to document the stories of those affected by the storm. Their culminating product was a multimedia film drawing attention to the realities of climate change while capturing the struggle and resilience of those in the storm’s path. Here are their reflections on the moments when they first took full ownership of their own learning, as featured in the EL National Conference 2014 newsletter, Signpost.