Paw'd Defiance

Water is Life

September 11, 2019 Season 1 Episode 20
Paw'd Defiance
Water is Life
Chapters
Paw'd Defiance
Water is Life
Sep 11, 2019 Season 1 Episode 20
Students and Staff in UW Tacoma's Math Science Leadership Program
A field recording of students and staff in UW Tacoma's MSL program as they explore Mt. Rainier.
Show Notes Transcript

On this special episode of Paw'd Defiance we hand over the microphone as students and staff in UW Tacoma's Math Science Leadership program explore Mt. Rainier. MSL serves youth in grades 7-12 that are historically underrepresented in STEM. The program works to connect students to different STEM fields through activities and field work. MSL is traditionally held over a three week period in the summer. This year is a bit different. Students spent a week on campus and at different locations around the area exploring the idea that "water is life." They will return to this idea during two day sessions in the winter and spring. Note: this is a field recording so expect to hear some wind and other natural sounds in the background.


Speaker 1:
0:04
From you to up to come out of this is pod defiance. Welcome to pod defiance where we don't lecture, but we do educate. I'm your host Catherine felts. Today on the pod, a road trip to Mount Rainier with students from UTAP Tacoma's math science leadership program. For 17 years, MSL has been working to connect to youth in grades seven to 12 to science, technology, engineering, and math through different lessons and activities. This episode will be a bit different. We handed off the microphone to students in the program and ask them to talk about their experience. Traditionally, a three week program MSL shifted formats this year. This year's program has spread out over several months, including a weakened summer, followed by two days in the spring and winter. Students will spend their time analyzing the idea that water is life. Doing so meant traveling terrain mere until the Billy Frank jr Nisqualy wildlife refuge to understand the connections between watersheds, glaciers, rivers, and the water they use every day. Enjoy.
Speaker 2:
1:13
Tell me your full name. Uh, Joseph Brooks. And you are an MSL instructor? Yes. This is my third year of being an Amazon truck. I'm sorry, I got involved with the MSL through a DJ, Chris Austin, Mo. Um, because he knew that I was, um, working on a degree in education. And so he called me up one day because they had a list of instructors and one of them had to bail last minute. And I was like, I guess one, sorry, one of the first names he thought of. So he called me up. He was like, Hey, you want to do this? And so that was my first year and I've done it every summer besides one since then. I like, I love the kids. Like they're great. They're amazing. Um, they're always on point. They're great kids. They're super nice, polite. Um, they come in excited to be here, excited to learn.
Speaker 2:
2:03
Um, which is awesome. Like, especially being a teacher, like you don't always get students like that. Sure. Especially not a class full of them. So like getting like an entire group of students who are just happy to be here, happy to learn, excited every single day to come in and what are we doing? What's going on? What are we learning today? It's just awesome. And then also on top of that, um, DJ, miss Amanda do a great job of hiring great staff. So all the other instructors are awesome. Um, you definitely feel like a lot of support between the other instructors, miss Amanda, mr DJ, stuff like that. So I think, and then like also the campus, like there's a lot of support. So I think that, you know, speaks a lot to how good the program is and how awesome. And so like that's why I keep coming back.
Speaker 2:
2:46
Like as a teacher, I think building strong relationships is great. Um, like for students, you know, it helps them feel more comfortable, you know, like if they can tell I care, then they're going to care, right. So if they could tell I care about them, they're going to care about whatever I have to say, you know, um, which is super important, not only for me, it makes it a lot easier on my part to like teach them stuff. But you know, it's important for them. Like, I want students to feel like if they need things they can come to me and if they have questions they can ask. Like I like to have like that kind of, um, like safe space type mentality, like with my classroom and when I'm around. So I think working with students like long term and building those type of relationships really helps with that and establishing, you know.
Speaker 2:
3:28
So let's talk about what students today, this experience with William to Mount right here. And I know it's sort of water. Yes. Talk a little bit. Okay. So we're focusing on the idea of um, water is life is like our kind of our main overlying point. And so they're looking at how not only is water like super important to life as far as like nature and themselves, but how we interact with water every day and how water plays a huge role in our everyday lives. Not just for like drinking and, um, like food products and stuff like that. But also like swimming and our sewage and stuff like that. All kinds of different broad talks about how we interact with water and how water, you know, impacts our lives as a whole.
Speaker 3:
4:15
My name is Nehemiah hires. Um, I am, uh, currently in the MSL program and we tried today to get, uh, pictures that we can caption and I never even heard of it. It's the, um, photovoice photovoice I'd never heard of before. And today I had a great time, uh, with friends just taking pictures of all the wildlife and uh, different things that impacted me with relation to the mountain and different climate change issues. Um, today was not my first trip to a Mount Rainier, but it was my first summer trip and to first time on the trail that I went on. And we, I really enjoyed the challenge. I decided to run ahead to, to get the full experience of the mountain today. And uh, I love that very much and just a really great experience to see the contrast between the climate at tier in the winter where it's feed on pita snow and then during the summer where it's hot and beautiful and just pristine weather. And everyone today was pretty fantastic. I have no real complaints
Speaker 4:
5:25
right now. We have ranger Nicole who just took us on our trip of she's happy and willing to share a little bit about, um, being an educator, being a conserver of the environment. So I'll just hand this off to her and um, and you'll hear how she was impacted by MSL cause we definitely loved her knowledge and her energy that she brought to the youth. But, um, we'd love to hear about how she, what she gained from doing what she does.
Speaker 3:
5:56
I think that it, that I really
Speaker 5:
5:58
love what I do and, um, that energy, especially with working with youth that are so interested and engaged and, um, are in this place where they are about to start thinking about what they want to do with their futures and how they impact the world. Um, et cetera. Fun platform to also feed off of their energy as well. Um, and find out what they're interested in and then connecting that back to the bigger picture, especially how we can interact with Mount Rainier, um, or as people in general, um, with our environment. And I just think it's such a special opportunity. So many of them haven't been to mattering near before. And I usually ask the question too of how many people have been to national parks in general. Um, and especially in this area where it's only like an hour or two hours from the park.
Speaker 5:
6:50
It's always kind of a funny surprise when so many people haven't been out. And I think that as we were talking about before, highlighting that that the access to the parks isn't always the easiest. Um, so when we do get the opportunity to get, especially youth or people in general from different backgrounds to experience this place, I'm trying to use the time as wisely as possible, um, with learning about the different things that we can connect to their home base and about Tacoma, but also just allowing them to have like a memorable, fun experience outside and hopefully an experience they can share with their friends, um, and bring that back to their communities as well.
Speaker 4:
7:33
I really appreciated the, uh, the interactive, um, exercises you had. I know that we had any of my tree and, and I mean any of my, uh, watershed and, uh, Nicole watershed and helping youth visualize the impact that they can have on the environment, whether positive or negative. Is that, um, are these exercises that you came up yourselves of yourself or, um, or is this something, an initiative from somewhere else?
Speaker 5:
8:00
Yeah, I feel like hands on learning is the best type of learning. And I am personally dyslexic and grew up with, um, having different learning styles as I would say that the average student. Um, so I really love finding new ways to connect people of all interests to, um, with these activities and people who learn a little differently as well or need that visual. Um, and these are really big concepts that have a big impact on people's lives. Um, so, and they can be kind of hard if you're just reading about it or to really understand the impacts or the different processes. Um, and education I think is this beautiful like mind meld of different activities and it's a really a big collaboration. Um, so it's things that I have come up with, but also things that you just learned from watching other educators and sharing ideas, um, and just finding new ways to get ourselves excited like the educators to teach these things, but new ways to share the knowledge with others and make those connections when it's not always the easiest concepts to understand. But yeah, I think we all get really stoked just to like sit in a room together and brainstorm ideas and how we can connect these things in bigger ways, but also really just have make it have fun, um, because that's what people are going to remember. Um, and yeah, it's a, it's a challenge for sure. Um, but it's probably one of the most wonderful opportunities of this job.
Speaker 6:
9:27
First of all, what's your name? Aaliyah. What grade are you going into? 10th grade. How did you enjoy our mountain air trip history?
Speaker 4:
9:34
I had a lot of fun. Um, I enjoyed hiking. I normally like working out, doing stuff like that. It was a real experience cause me and my family never really gets to do stuff like that since we're always busy. And stuff with sports and taking care of other kids and working and stuff.
Speaker 6:
9:50
Okay. And then how do you think what we learned yesterday or like the trip and seeing everything, how do you think that pertains to our big question that people need clean water and water's life?
Speaker 4:
10:00
Well I think people should think about the environment more like with recycling and throwing garbage everywhere. Cause on the way there I saw a lot of garbage and there was just, I think this is crazy how people can just throw stuff on the ground like that. Yeah.
Speaker 6:
10:16
How's your time been at MSL so far? Like not just this week but like in the past, I know you've been here for awhile. Yeah.
Speaker 4:
10:21
I think it's a real experience and that it's going to help me Morely in my future cause we're doing stuff that college people do. Like last year when we did robotics, I never thought I would do that. And it was really challenging for me and it was a good challenge to learn how to do stuff like that. So I think it's just real opportunity that people should really take advantage of. And that I really think I took advantage of going to the program. I think they should keep doing it.
Speaker 1:
10:54
Thank you for listening and a big thank you to moon yard recording studios and to UDaB Tacoma, senior lecturer, Nicole Blair for letting us play your music on the show. Be sure to subscribe and go to Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google podcasts, and PocketCasts.
Speaker 7:
11:19
[inaudible].
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