Hanging Out with Andy Revkin
“How do we head through nine billion people by around 2050 without really screwing up too much?”
Andy Revkin writes the DotEarth blog for the New York Times, and has been writing about the environment for almost thirty years. His topics are diverse (and his Twitter stream rich with links) and connected to much of what our students have chosen to explore in our current Environmental Sciences unit in Grade 10 (MYP5).*
He very kindly agreed to G+ Hangout with some students before school, to discuss science writing in general and how he masters his craft on the environment beat. We learned a lot from Andy, and loved his assertion that he is not a ‘doom and gloom’ writer, but that the environment is different, and more complex than we first thought.
Here are links to some of the ideas & issues he mentioned in the chat:
- His ‘Postcards’ series, snapshots of science and environmental research
- Psychology & the environment
- Schools and syllabuses designed with the environment in mind
- Twitter in the classroom
- Obama and the National Academy of Sciences
- Will we have fewer, more dangerous hurricanes?
- The Burning Season book: the murder of Chico Mendez
*As part of our current Grade 10 Environmental Science unit, students have broken into groups depending on their interests and IBDP Sciences choices. They have designed their own unit content, though assessment types are common – a lab they design, a test we’ll write based on their chosen assessment statements and a piece of science writing. I’ll dedicate a whole post to how the unit worked once we’re done.
For the science writing task, students are asked to find real-life articles, case-studies or stimulus materials that will provide a context for some of their content. We showed them some models, of great science writing, but I realised my Twitter lists were light on environment writers.
A quick tweet (and some follow-up emails) fixed all that:
Thanks again to Andy for chatting to us – it was a great opportunity to talk to a real pro.
It is also evidence, once again, that Twitter can be an amazing tool for classes and professional development.