What BPS Students Are Learning about the Environment

by Madden Kilgannon
As published in The West Roxbury Transcript
Thursday, May 20, 2010

Recognizing that saving energy and saving money should be important to everyone in the community, West Roxbury Saves Energy touched base with Madden Kilgannon, an eighth-grader from West Roxbury, for a student’s perspective.

WRSE: As a teenager and student, why do you think environmental issues are important?

MK: The damage that we are doing right now to the earth is going to affect everyone on the planet. But the people who are inheriting this earth, the next generation, is getting the tools that they need to help build a greener world at school.

WRSE: What kinds of things are the local schools doing to help students get those tools?

MK: At the Lyndon School in West Roxbury, students are learning about the weather, the ecosystem, and changes in the environment. They not only learn about what is happening; they also apply it with their recycling program for plastic, paper, cardboard and glass.

The Ohrenberger School in West Roxbury has also been trying to do their part in the fight against global climate change. They had a “Green It Up Day” on May 8. The Ohrenberger’s events like this really change the way that the next generation is thinking about global climate change. It’s getting them excited; it’s this kind of excitement that will inspire more change to happen to help our environment.

WRSE: What about at your school, Boston Latin School?

MK: It’s not just grade schools that are teaching their students about global climate change. Youth Climate Action Network (Youth CAN) is making a change in Boston Latin School. In Youth CAN we are learning how to be leaders in the change; students like Rebecca Park (a sophomore at Boston Latin School) are definite leaders who help inspire other students to take action as well. They so far have raised thousands to pay for a green roof that will be equipped with outdoor classrooms, a greenhouse that will provide food for the cafeteria, solar panels, and the tools that will help not just Boston Latin School students learn about the environment with their plan to have a summer program on the roof. The roof is designed by Studio G Architects and is expected to be ready by 2011. Boston Latin will use the green roof to teach students about the environment, and the roof will also provide a green environment in the middle of the city as well as produce energy using the solar panels.

WRSE: Any final thoughts about what more schools and students can and should be doing to help us move into a greener future?

MK: I think that if single-stream recycling was in all schools that would make a huge difference, because if you teach children from a young age to care about the environment, then that’s something they’ll keep with them their entire lives. Schools have a chance to help the next generation, and it’s their job to do something about it. I’m happy to have an opportunity to learn about global climate change because it’s becoming a big part of today’s society. Everyone should be aware, and we should all do our part to help.