Watershed School Tackles Urgent and Relevant Issues With New Spring Courses

Watershed School has kicked off its second semester with new courses designed to connect high school students with urgent and relevant issues facing both the mid-coast region and the larger world of which they are a part. Watershed’s classes, by design, connect high school curriculum with contemporary national and world events while also teaching the context from which these current issues emerged.
Marine Science- As part of Watershed’s chemistry course, Cindy Heil, PhD, Senior Research Scientist from Bigelow Laboratories for Ocean Science in Boothbay Harbor, joins the faculty this semester to teach a course focused on ocean acidification and its impact on marine organisms. With emphasis on reviewing scientific research papers, visiting aquaculture sites, laboratory experimentation monitoring changes in pH levels, and visits to Bigelow Labs, Watershed students are diving in deep to learn more about the changing chemistry of the oceans brought about by changes in the climate. Watershed students are excited about this rare opportunity to study an increasingly relevant topic and learn more about the work of Bigelow Laboratories. 
Age of Activism- Taking history to the streets is the focus of this course taught by Watershed’s Head of School, Will Galloway. After a historical study of citizen movements for social justice since 1953, Watershed students will assess the qualities and characteristics of effective activism, develop skills for effective citizen action, and then apply what they have learned by joining a local movement for change. Watershed has a long history of engaging meaningfully with the mid-coast community including the Camden Carbon Neutral Report, changing the City of Rockland's lighting ordinances, and many others.   
Committees for Community Engagement and the Common Good - Once every three weeks, students will find one hour in the new school schedule dedicated to community engagement and the common good. Built on similar models for student involvement in local community efforts such as the ones Bates College called "Purposeful Work" and at Bowdoin College, entitled The McKeen Center for the Common Good, Watershed students join the effort to participate fully as citizens in a democracy. From a wide range of possible involvement, students will choose an organization or community effort and participate on a regular basis to connect their experience at Watershed School with the local community.