High School Outreach: Social Media and Sustainability

March 21, 2014

highschooloutreach2On March 19th and 20th, Maren Hunsberger, the Web Design and Sustainable Communications intern for the College’s Committee on Sustainability (COS), woke up bright and early to attend the environmental science classes at Grafton High School. Calandra Waters-Lake, an associate of COS, is the instructor of this course, and invited Ms. Hunsberger to come into her class to speak to her students about a sustainability related issue. After brainstorming, they decided that social media, a topic which is so salient in the culture today, particularly for youth, could be a great guest lecture for the mix of juniors and seniors who take Mrs. Lake’s class. Maren’s presentation focused on the power of social media to bring people together for a common cause and create change, but also its potential pitfalls as an organizational tool. The teens explored various social media outlets on the topic of the West Virginia chemical spill, tying into their class unit on water pollution, and discussed what worked best, what wasn’t as effective, and why. highschooloutreach2

The overall message that Mrs. Lake and Ms. Hunsberger wanted to communicate to these kids was that they have power. Even though they’re young and may sometimes feel as if they have very little control over what happens in their lives, much less feeling like they are able to contribute to large-scale change on the environmental level, social media provides them with a platform from which they can share their thoughts, spread awareness, and contribute in small ways to big change.highschooloutreach1

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