Island Climate Partners

Climate Justice Partner Classrooms

Although students in Springfield, Massachusetts are often only dimly aware that warmer days and surprising storms herald a changing climate that wiill have local impacts, those in Puerto Rico who have suffered devastating storms like Hurricane Maria, sea-choking seaweed due to warmer oceans, and toxic air pollution from sands blown from the Sahel in Africa have much to share.  We also have something in common: a history of environmental racism that affects our health. 

Through contacts with envionmental research organizations in Puerto Rico, we found classroom partners excited to hold a series of video meetings where students share presentations about their neighborhoods, history, and understanding of climate science.  This was highly motivating and helped our students identify with climate justice issues at home and far away. 

About CROEM 

CROEM is magnet boarding high school (9-12) specialized in science and math in Mayagúez, Western Puerto Rico.  We have students from different towns of Puerto Rico.  

As part of the process of admission, the prospective students must meet some requirements, such as: a standardized test and 3.50 GPA. The school only accepts approximately 250 students per year.

The Environmental Science course begins with an overview of the history of the Earth, its structure, changes and geological evolution to recognize the importance of our natural resources and their availability, as well as biogeochemical cycles, our ecosystems and their interactions with other terrestrial systems (hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere, biosphere).  It will analyze and evaluate the effects of human activity on Earth such as: global climate change, acid rain, environmental pollution (water, soil, air), among others; to propose technological solutions that mitigate current and future impacts.

The students will be able to explain the historical development of environmental education and how to maintain and recover the well-being of our planet Earth.

The School of San Juan is a PreK-12th grade community School in the capital city of San Juan. We have a EcoSchool program that is being recently relaunched due to the effects of the pandemic. 

The humanistic, constructivist educational philosophy put into practice in the school community of The School of San Juan promotes a social transformation. It is aimed at solving problems and educational approaches from various spaces in the community that promote mobilization and transformation of our student’s community with an education of excellence. Our students have excelled in competitions such as the National Spelling Bee, Poetry Out Loud, Microsoft Forums, Puerto Rico Metropolitan Science Fair, Puerto Rico Values Congress, and Stars of Environmental Justice – Climate Change.  

For Climate Literacy our students represent 7th to 10th grades, and study Life Sciences, Physical science and Biology. Students who stay after school for our meetings with Springfield were selected due to their interest in Environmental issues and commitment to participate in all the Enviromental activities in our school, which is a science-based and community-based organization.

Springfield Renaissance es una escuela pública EL Education que forma parte de las Escuelas Públicas de Springfield. Abrimos nuestras puertas en 2006 a los grados sexto y noveno, y hoy servimos a estudiantes de sexto a duodécimo grado. La misión de nuestra escuela es proporcionar un programa académico riguroso para estudiantes que van a ir a la universidad en un entorno pequeño y personalizado donde los estudiantes usan bien sus mentes, se preocupan por sí mismos y por los demás, y están a la altura de los desafíos y deberes de la ciudadanía.

EL Education es una organización nacional sin fines de lucro que apoya un modelo de educación centrado en el estudiante con desarrollo organizacional y capacitación del personal. Las escuelas EL están diseñadas para la equidad educativa al apoyar y celebrar las habilidades únicas de cada estudiante. Las escuelas EL desarrollan el carácter de los estudiantes en círculos cada vez más amplios de compromisos comunitarios.

El modelo EL se basa en prácticas basadas en la investigación, incluido un plan de estudios único de artes del lenguaje K-8 y un conjunto de prácticas básicas para la enseñanza y el aprendizaje profesional alineado. EL Education se fundó en 1991 y actualmente atiende a 440 000 estudiantes en diversas comunidades de los Estados Unidos.

LT 3: Personal Connections to Nature and Neighborhoods

Exploring an urban watershed preserve and surrounding neighborhoods to connect to natural and built habitats, and noting how wealth disparities are reflected in tree cover, green space, and other neighborhood differences in climate resilience.  Our Puerto Rican partners were inspired by our expeditions to Abbey Brook Park to conduct their own.

LT 4: Climate Justice Partners: Springfield and Puerto Rico

Connecting across the climate justice divide with classroom partners helped our students, many of whom have Puerto Rican ancestry,  appreciate the experience of those who remain in a US territory with a history of colonial exploitation, environmental injustice, and increasing vulnerability is responding  to hurricanes and other climate impacts.