Educating Future Generations about Sustainability & Tech

We started creating content around sustainability and renewable energy to inspire people to take action in their lives and live more environmentally friendly and sustainably. When we came across Lesley Anderson we were very excited to share her story and highlight the work she is doing educating future generations about science, tech, energy, and sustainability. Lesley has worked closely with major organizations like Genentech, Aerospace, NASA, The Maritime Alliance, and Lockheed Martin, all to get a better understanding of what they do and share that information to inspire students.

Lesley Anderson, Teacher & Researcher

Lesley, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background: 

I’m a teacher-researcher. I have taught high school science and math and coached K-12 teachers in project-based learning for almost a decade. In my summers I work in research labs in order to better understand science and create authentic classroom experiences for my students. My research has taken me all over the world from studying climate change data at NASA, to the migratory patterns of breaching white sharks in South Africa, sea turtle population health and density in the San Diego Bay with NOAA, to understanding subatomic particle interactions at the South Pole with the IceCube Neutrino Experiment.

What is a fun fact about you?

In 2018 I traveled to all 7 continents! (while working a full time job)

Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today? 

As an educator, I am responsible for preparing a generation of kids who will need to solve the climate crisis. This topic in school tends to be very doom and gloom for kids; “Welcome to Earth, we’ve done a lot to destroy the planet well before you were born, now please help create a solution for us so we don’t destroy any more biodiversity”. When I tell students that we’re in the midst of the sixth great mass extinction on Earth, there is a lot of shock and fear that students express. But there is also a lot of room for empowerment. I have a lot of students become environmentally conscious during my class and tell me that they’re so glad they’ve had an opportunity to learn about what scientists are currently doing to study historic climate change and what future research needs to be done in order to solve this crisis.

A student in Lesley’s Classroom

What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?

I hope to see more educators becoming teacher-researchers. I’ve learned so much more about the real world of science from stepping into so many different types of life and physical sciences. I can then better translate scientific content for my students so they understand and become more compassionate about the field of science in general. I also hope to see the next generation of young students who I have already taught enter the work force to become passionate scientists and global citizens.

What can the average person do to make a difference? 

Become educated. And I don’t just mean get a degree in school. I mean pick up a book, explore the world around you, and experience new people, places, and cultures. The more people who become educated in this world about topics that impact our daily lives, the more we can collaboratively problem-solve solutions to these sustainability challenges that we are faced with.

Lesley, thank you for joining us and sharing your experience educating future generations about sustainability and tech.

Visit Lesley’s website to learn more HERE.

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Jack Smith
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