1. Rajeev Rupani
  2. http://iuse.bc.edu/
  3. Senior Research Associate
  4. Change Makers: Urban Youth Food Justice Ambassadors
  5. http://iuse.bc.edu
  6. Boston College
  1. George Barnett
  2. http://iuse.bc.edu
  3. Professor
  4. Change Makers: Urban Youth Food Justice Ambassadors
  5. http://iuse.bc.edu
  6. Boston College
  1. David Blustein
  2. https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/schools/lynch-school/faculty-research/faculty-directory/david-blustein.html
  3. Professor
  4. Change Makers: Urban Youth Food Justice Ambassadors
  5. http://iuse.bc.edu
  6. Boston College
  1. Belle Liang
  2. Professor
  3. Change Makers: Urban Youth Food Justice Ambassadors
  4. http://iuse.bc.edu
  5. Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human...
  1. Marcello Rossi
  2. SPS Changemakers Manager
  3. Change Makers: Urban Youth Food Justice Ambassadors
  4. http://iuse.bc.edu
  5. Springfield MA Public Schools, Boston College
  1. Allison White
  2. Change Makers: Urban Youth Food Justice Ambassadors
  3. http://iuse.bc.edu
  4. Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human...
  1. Catherine Wong
  2. https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/schools/lynch-school/our-community/urban-outreach.html
  3. Director, Urban Outreach Initiatives
  4. Change Makers: Urban Youth Food Justice Ambassadors
  5. http://iuse.bc.edu
  6. Boston College
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Rajeev Rupani

    Rajeev Rupani

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 11:25 p.m.

    In this project, we are working with youth, teachers, and school districts across Massachusetts to develop and implement a youth-driven Food Justice (FJ) program using a tiered mentoring model, where high school youth support middle school youth from their communities in learning the interdisciplinary science of hydroponics and managing urban hydroponic farms within their school district. The curriculum that is utilized in this project is grounded in a social justice framework, with a focus on Food Justice and engaging the youth to address issues around food access that exist in their communities by establishing youth-led Food Justice Ambassador corps in their city.


    A core component of this project is the ability for the individual sites, and the youth at those sites, to connect with their communities; either to disseminate their work within their communities, or to engage and collaborate with local organizations and businesses (such as local food / environmental councils and farms), or to build opportunities for establishing career pathways through mentoring and internships. The last of these goals also ties in to the Career Discernment and Sense of Purpose components that are an integral part of the core curriculum that is utilized within this project. A challenge that has presented itself is establishing a pathway and / or platform for the individual sites to connect and share their unique approaches to implementing the project, and learn from each other, while valuing and honoring the different socioeconomic and cultural contexts of each site.

  • Icon for: Judith D TRYTTEN

    Judith D TRYTTEN

    May 15, 2019 | 02:06 p.m.

    What a terrific project.  I was very impressed by the video.

  • Icon for: Gillian Puttick

    Gillian Puttick

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 10:35 a.m.

    Bravo, this is an inspiring project, and a great example for how meaningful science can be embedded in a larger social system.  Could you talk a little bit more about the challenges the project faced in developing the project?

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Marcello Rossi
  • Icon for: Marcello Rossi

    Marcello Rossi

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 10:53 a.m.

    Hi Gillian,

    at first it was a challenge to find recruits that would commit to a full school year and also  2 weeks of Changemakers Hydroponics summer institute during August. 

    Then the next challenge was to figure out how to mobilize and reach out to the community and be within the schools rules and regulations. 

    The first few months were focused on establishing a good bond relationships with each of the High school students 10-12 grades. Getting to know one another and having a clear understanding of what it means to be a mentor is key to this relationship working well. 

    These are just a few challenges, that required several weeks of process, working together, sharing, breaking bread, following through with promises and walk the talk!

     

  • Icon for: George Barnett

    George Barnett

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 07:00 p.m.

    Marcello is also being modest.  A lot of the success goes to him and finding a leader and someone who is so deeply committed to the community and the youth is critical.  We are extremely luck to have Marcello as a partner!  I think one of the harder things is to find that key person who can blend both the out-of-school world with the in-school world.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Michelle Quirke
  • Small default profile

    Zina Hodge

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 14, 2019 | 08:52 a.m.

    We're so proud of the Change Makers in Boston and across MA! Our scholars are taking STEM to the next level one step at a time!

  • Icon for: Matt Fisher

    Matt Fisher

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 11:04 p.m.

    I really like the explicit connection between STEM and ethics/social justice that is at the heart of the project. In regard to student learning of STEM, has the project (up to this point) included explicit connections to specific classes that students are taking? Or has this been functioning more as an informal science learning environment? Do you expect or want this to change in future years?

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Marcello Rossi
  • Icon for: Marcello Rossi

    Marcello Rossi

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 06:38 a.m.

    Hi Mr Fisher, I expect this to change in the future, there are many aspects about the change makers project that were developed and others that were not addressed at all. The community and activism component was taken to its limit, meaning we organized and moved into action until the school departments said it was against the school districts rules.  

    For next year it is very important to ask every change makers Teacher to enhance their Science school curricula by connecting change makers project to their teaching of STEM prepared class lessons.  

     

  • Icon for: Marcello Rossi

    Marcello Rossi

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 08:26 a.m.

    This first year of Change Makers has been very busy, The 10, 11 and 12 grades did lots of out of school community work and food marketing. We did food marketing for local businesses, at 6 BigY world class markets, Whole Foods Market. The Change Makers Ambassadors presented "what is hydroponics and how does it work" at different super markets, in their produce section. A total of 25 in store events were done at BigY and Whole Foods Markets. We did fresh produce marketing analysis and comparison of the Forest Park Springfield Farmers markets and the BigY stores (6 total Wilbraham, Cooley st Springfield, Ludlow, Fresh Acres, Northampton, Amherst, and Whole foods Hadley). We connected to an average of 300 to 500 local shoppers per store event. Each one was given a mini lesson on hydroponics and all of them purchased the product we were marketing. 

      

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Michelle Quirke
  • Icon for: Marcello Rossi

    Marcello Rossi

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 09:49 a.m.

    Change makers Ambassadors, organized and delivered a Food Justice community Event for The benefit of the Community Survival Center in Indian Orchard MA. The Change makers Brass Band performed and 16 Ambassadors presented one on one mini lessons on hydroponic wick systems. A few hundred two liter bottles made into wick grow systems were gifted to all the customers that came to the community survival center for food. Each community customer was given the choice of seed they wanted to have in their wick system. The Ambassadors called the Mayor of Springfield, the president of the Indian Orchard Citizens council, the Executive director of the Community Survival Center, and local owners of greenhouses, to make this event happen.

    The first Urban Farming Summit was organized and the Ambassadors presented a festival style event with a total of 8 different booths, including food chemistry and how to know what is fake, all about seeds, solar energy powered deep water culture grow system, how to build a hydroponic ebb and flow aluminum frame system, sugar content of processed foods, automated Greenhouses. This event was not open to the public. We wanted it to be but obviously the security aspect was impossible to overcome, so we did it anyways, and had a great time.

    The Ambassadors went on a science nature scavenger hunt in the Woods of Whately MA. We were invited and hosted by Smith College, each Ambassador and teachers were given snow shoes! After a two hour hike, we returned to the lab station with porcupine needles, we found a porcupine den! many different samples of animal scat, and more. At the lab station we used microscopes and collected more data. The Smith College lab station had a state of the art composting toilet. We had many field trips, this was by far my favorite.

    The Ambassadors have been committed to attend every Wednesday, walking from their high school to the nearest middle school to be with and work with as mentors to the 7 and 8 graders, we call them "Change Makers Sprouts" There is an average of 15 to 20 SPROUTS every wednesday. Together with the Ambassadors, Sprouts, and Teachers, about 1 thousand seeds were planted and we are in the process of selling them. Tomatoes, Radishes, Peas, Cabbage, Peppers, keeping hundreds of them alive has been the best learning process to learn the science of hydroponics.

    We pack in as much activity and opportunity for mentoring as possible every single month of the school year is an adventure! This maybe the greatest challenge for a project that is power packed with possibilities. 

  • Icon for: Marcello Rossi

    Marcello Rossi

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 09:54 a.m.

     Almost forgot, Change Makers also had a booth and participated in the STCC Sustainathon 2019, organized by Dr Reena Randhir, last month. We had an exhibit of different hydroponic growing systems, ebb and flow, deep water culture, aquaponics and wick systems, we rented a u-haul and transported all of the equipment from the high school to STCC. One of our Ambassadors presented a poster on Food justice and Hydroponic grow systems and was awarded second place. It is a great year, all of the TEACHERS work very hard and all are 100 percent committed to the CHANGEMAKERS project. Including everyone from Boston college, and the SPS district science department director, it takes a village to teach STEM and food justice.  

     

  • Icon for: Peg Cagle

    Peg Cagle

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 03:42 a.m.

    This project offers a compelling example of how a social justice stance can meaningfully  drive a STEM project. It seems that many STEM lessons/learning initiatives that adopt a social justice lens end up highlighting deficits within communities without either proposing or creating solutions. Yours is clearly a solution driven perspective on how science can play a vital role in addressing food injustice. I also applaud the fact that the video is largely focused on the voices of students within the project, furthering their ownership of the work, and elevating their voices. I am curious how students are identified to become mentors and then trained to succeed in that role. 

  • Icon for: Marcello Rossi

    Marcello Rossi

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 07:05 a.m.

    Hi Ms Peg Cagle, so true it almost seems that the problems are presented as inherent lifetime permanent conflicts that mysteriously never get resolved. Our approach is that there are only solutions, to think otherwise is an illusion or just pure corruption. 

    Each individual is a mentor, we are all mentors. Monkey see monkey do. To walk your talk and follow through on promises etc.... To treat others the way we wish to be treated and develop character traits that help to build trust, camaraderie and good communication.  

    We all train together and are blessed to have an amazing team of Teachers from Boston College like Ms Allison White, she leads the Purpose and Mentor workshops, character traits workshops and more.

    Then we have what we call, community talks, were we invite different folks from our community to visit us and break bread, as we find out all about them.

    We also go out to our community and visit different markets to meet and greet, observe, ask questions, answer questions, then we review, have a good discussion about what we experienced and how each one of us experienced each encounter, etc.... 

    There are students that prefer to work one on one with middle school Sprouts and some have no interest in this. They are more interested in perhaps writing code to automate a greenhouse, or others prefer to work with their hands using power tools and build aluminum frame ebb and flow systems, others are focused on food justice and food policy, we are definitely a village and as such everyone is a mentor-mentee.

    As we identify each students character traits and their interest, then we provide full support, to nurture that mentee so they can mentor an other mentee. NURTURE NATURE AND NATURE WILL NURTURE YOU. thank you for your question I hope I answered it.

     

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Michelle Quirke
  • Icon for: Deanna Privette

    Deanna Privette

    i3 STEM Grant Coordinator
    May 17, 2019 | 01:29 p.m.

    I really enjoyed the testimonials from the students in the program, speaks to the impact the program is having on them.  In our program, we offer extended learning opportunities to middle school kids.  In our after school program, we collaborated with a local university and the Ag. Science dept. to design, build, and maintain a hydroponic system.  The kids and teachers really enjoyed it.  Thanks for sharing!

  • Icon for: Catherine Wong

    Catherine Wong

    Co-Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 05:24 p.m.

    Thank you for your comments. Our Change Maker's Urban Youth Food Justice Ambassadors remain central to all decision making aspects of the project, such that this transparency allows our youth to be engaged from the beginning and to truly feel that their voice does matter. By creating strength based curriculum and hands on activities that explore the intersectionality of educational achievement and career choice with cultural identity for students who are often under represented in STEM, our youth emerge all the more excited about their future, and exhibit a greater willingness to both give back to the next generation as a mentor, but also to explore STEM majors and careers in college. 

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.