Saturday, June 4th was the student symposium to end the EFS year! The morning consisted of a panel to reflect on the pros, cons, lessons learned and the like. In the afternoon students from the various schools set up stations to share what they worked on throughout the year. And the throughout the day we had raffles (I think I won the best thing).
The panel consisted of several teachers from the program, a PAR researcher in education from New York, and me to talk as one of the programs interns. It was nice to start a larger conversation about what the day-to-day of participating in the program is, but unfortunately we were disrupted by the fire alarm and had to evacuate the building three times. We later found out that there was a minor issues with the security (or electric, I don’t remember) system that caused the alarm to go off unexpectedly. I remember sharing about the overarching difficulty Dobbins faced was only being able to meet an hour a week, and that I lead a discussion on environmental justice but most of my memory of the panel was the fire alarms. They were however a unique opportunity for the students, teachers, interns, and guests to have one last chance to connect before this phase of the EFS program ends.
For the student presentation aspect of the day, Dobbins set up a “Tree of Transformation” exercise, pictured below, and played the interview they recorded with me. It was amazing to see them share all the work they’ve been doing. Other stations had other activities set up, or displayed students’ work. I saw wind propellers, 3D printed projects, and art made from recycled paper (that I was lucky enough to buy off of the student!)
We ended the symposium with a raffle full of eco-friendly gifts. We had eggs fresh from someones yard, seeds, soils, local coffee and much more. My person favorite, the one I won, was a set of Shirley Temple glasses made from recycled glass from a local studio! The year gifted me with many wonderful memories and a few priceless pieces to put in my forever home. It was a hard goodbye to my students at Dobbins, but I know that they will continue to work hard and educate those around them.