During the conference, I was able to attend the leader lead lunch discussion with Martha Groom of the DDCSP@UW program. The lunch discussion pertained to education in conservation. I was interested in this discussion because a friend of mine back home in New York City wants to start an urban educational and resource program here in our county of Queens. Dr. Martha Groom gave me a lot of interesting tips on how to engage cross generational groups and intercultural groups from her teaching experience. Firstly, Dr. Martha Groom gave me the insight that lessons and ideas need to be conveyed within 20 minutes or less to youth or else there is a tendency to lose interest. Secondly, for each hour in a lesson 5-15 hours of planning are needed in order to think about a strategy to use and lay out a lesson plan. My friend who had the intention of the program had the idea that we could improvise for the majority of the lessons. Furthermore, there needs to be examples that relate to events in the current world and cross cultures. Dr. Martha Groom explained that in classrooms on the West Coast, she has encountered lectures with students from Latin America, China, Other Asian Nations, and the Pacific Islands. A technique that she has employed is to use examples from all regions of these countries that will grab the attention of an individual, and she has noted this to work when seeing students light up at the recognition of their region. Dr. Groom was incredibly focused on providing educational pathways for all students especially in the fields of conservation and education.
-Vincent Irizarry, 2014 Cohort