Jonathan Shimizu: Week 2 Recap
Even though we’ve only been in the program for two weeks, it seems as if much more time has passed. This week, we were tasked with creating lesson plans related to our research projects and using the plans to teach local high schoolers about natural resources. Michael and I decided to guide our groups of high schoolers through some soil testing and tree identification crash courses. We took toil samples and ran them through an NPK testing kit to determine nutrient concentration and soil type. We also identified local trees using leaf and branch properties. The overall environment was familiar to me thanks to my time in scouts. For some time, I was in charge of mentoring new scouts through the early ranks and ensuring they were prepared and had knowledge of critical skills. The new scouts were around the age of 11, so I have more than enough experience mentoring younger kids. However, I found it difficult to convey my interests and passion for natural resources to the high schoolers. Most of the kids in our groups were indifferent about the lesson we had prepared for them and often lost interest halfway through each class. Eventually, several of the high schoolers grew more interested in the lesson and became a bit more animated towards the end of the week. The overall experience, while frustrating and stressful, was enlightening and gave me a new appreciation for teachers and professors who are passionate about their own classes. This whole experience reminded me of a similar experience I had in high school when my APES teacher organized a field trip to a local nature preserve and hosted a lesson plan similar to what we had done.
Next week we’ll be presenting our research proposal to our fellow interns and mentors. I’m excited to finally get out in the field and collect data for our research project. I’m also looking forward to spending more time with the interns outside of work and going to Turkey Run next weekend!