Summit Learning 6th Graders Aim to Shrink Human Footprint

The 6th graders at Aspen Valley Preparatory Charter School in Fresno, California want you, me, and the rest of the world to be more thoughtful and proactive in reducing human impact on the environment.

In this week’s episode, we step inside a middle school science classroom immersed in a Summit Learning project: Shrinking the Human Footprint. We hear from students about issues ranging from deforestation to electronic pollution. Join us as they share their ideas on how to help solve these real challenges and inspire others to reduce their human footprint. Teacher Abel Ruiz also shares his story about transitioning from researching quantum physics to teaching 6th-grade science — and not looking back.  

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Who Will I Hear in this Episode?

Listed in order as heard in the podcast are interviewees:

  • Victor, a 6th-grade student at Aspen Valley Preparatory Charter School
  • Abel Ruiz, 6th-grade science teacher at Aspen Valley Preparatory Charter School
  • Lucy, a 6th-grade student at Aspen Valley Preparatory Charter School
  • Silvia, a 6th-grade student at Aspen Valley Preparatory Charter School
  • Hilary Witts, director of Summit Learning at Aspen Valley Preparatory Charter School
  • Caleb, a 6th-grade student at Aspen Valley Preparatory Charter School
  • Qusai Bhaijeewala, Outreach and Operations Specialist at Grid Alternatives

What Will I Learn From Listening?

This episode brings thoughts and insights about:

  1. How Projects engage and challenge students, and give them an opportunity to connect and have a real-world impact
  2. What educators can do in the classroom to make Projects meaningful learning experiences for students
  3. How students integrate key Cognitive Skills and Content Knowledge into a final product

Did you enjoy this episode? Leave the Summit Sparks podcast a review on iTunes and help others find us! Find out more about Aspen Valley Prep’s journey in Closing Achievement Gaps in Math and Reading.

Closing Music Credits: “Human Race” by unreal_dm is licensed under CC BY 3.0   

About the author

Summit Learning
Summit Learning
Summit Learning is a research–based approach to education designed to drive student engagement, meaningful learning, and strong student–teacher relationships that prepare students for life after graduation. Created by teachers with experience in diverse classrooms, Summit Learning is grounded in decades of research about how children learn. With Summit Learning, students gain mastery of core subjects like math, history, English, and science, while also carefully developing the skills and habits of lifelong learners. Summit Learning is independently led and operated by the nonprofit, Gradient Learning.