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Thread: yikes!! Talking planning with high school env class...

  1. #1
    planning_chick's avatar
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    yikes!! Talking planning with high school env class...

    Hi all,

    I don't post much, but am a wonderful lurker . I have the honor of speaking to a high school environmental class tomorrow and was hoping for some past ideas to generate interest. I think there was a thread like this that focused primarily on grade school. Any help will be much appreciated!

    Mods: if this is living in the wrong room, my apologies and please relocate!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yeah....

    Talk about stuff like

    Floodplain vs. Floodways and Federal process to change a floodplain/floodway location LOMR, CLOMR, LOMA......

    Endangered Species Issues related to development......

    Phase I, II, and III analysis and what it means to planning.....

    Use of septic systems in rural areas with special groundwater issues.....

    Scenic Byways designations.....why....how.....what to consider.....

    Historic Preservation Issues.....

    How the change in energy policy could drastically effect land planning and uses in the future, ethanol, bio-diesel, algae and switchgrass potentials......(he he he.....gotta love this one....)

    on and on and on........
    Skilled Adoxographer

  3. #3
    Cyburbian graciela's avatar
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    I have been going to middle and high schools to talk about Landscape Architecture. I find that they are very curious about salaries. Put together some good before and after examples - or with/without planning ideas and show them the results of good planning.

    I try to throw planning into the mix and hope to include some planning info at my booth for a local 8th grade career fair.

    The youngsters really have been interested in LA - I think they would love planning too, both are very different fields from the norm. I really talk that up!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I have done a lot of presentations to high school and college students on a variety of topics (though mostly not planning-related). I find it effective to pose questions to the students to get them talking and also get a feel for their perspective on, in this case, what "environmental" means to them. If you do this early in the talk, they are more likely to engage later and you have a better idea of how to relate your points to their interests.

    I think the general question of how an ecosystem works (watershed, rainforest, riparian area, whatever) and what the role of government should be to regulate, protect and manage such areas is a central one and gets at the heart of what all people working in this field are trying to do in one way or another. You might ask the students how they view this relationship to get them talking. What makes this proposition (ie. managing natural processes) so challenging? you might ask.

    Also, what does planning have to do with all of this anyhow? What does a plan addressing environmental issues look like? How is it put together (professional input, public input, etc.)? What are the shortcomings or challenges of such an approach?

    If its a career-type thing (getting kids interested in pursuing this in the future), you might also talk about the skills one might use in putting together or implementing such a plan (drawing skills, public input management, environmental science, etc.)

    Otherwise, good luck!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
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    Speaking to an environmental class?

    how about the benefits of improved mass transit, increased emphasis on wind and solar power, sustainable landscape design, sustainable planning or LEED buildings?

    MSN had an article today on the most polluted cities. See if the students can tell you why that might be the case.

    Dongtan, China...the world's first eco-city? Good article in Land Development Today.

    I would try to emphasize how how all of these things are going to effect their daily lives over the next 30-50-70 years.
    "You can measure the health of a city by the vitality and energy of its streets and public open spaces.-- William H. Whyte..

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Step by step instructions on when it is necessary to complete an Environmental Impact statement?

    They did not give you any guidance on what they want to talk about?
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Environmentally Friendly Infill, Re-development of historic structures, LEED designed projects, and of course the EIS process!
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  8. #8
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I have found a hands-on experience is the best thing -

    my idea:

    bring a proposed project in and have them analyze it with you - what should be looked at - what watershed is it in? what steps should be taken to protect the watershed? where are the wetlands - what best management practices could be used to protect the wetland and still allow development - what surface water considerations are there - is there room on the site to treat the water?

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    planning_chick's avatar
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    Wow, thanks for all the great ideas! Lp I was thinking of focusing on a hands on learning experience. The teacher wants to introduce various professions that works in some form or another with the environment. He had me speak last year, and it went well, but I really wanted to do a little more. My Fair City* strives to be as suburban as possible and also houses the regional HS. I forgot who said it, but I agree that getting them talking is very, very important. I also love the idea of asking why the most polluted cities are in that state. Hmmm....lots of work in the next 12 hours.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus
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    I always like using aerial photos (have a full set from 1958 and 2005) to show how much has changed around their school/neighborhood.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    Maybe you could use "An Inconvenient Truth" as a hook, as a way to grab people's attention. Ask if they've seen it. Ask if anyone got rants about it. Ask something that will hook the students into a conversation with you and the skew this into your presentation that you're hoping to deliver.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Two things:

    -I recently went to a HS to ask them about their parks system. It was much easier than I expected to get them to be interested and to share ideas. High school kids, and all kids, have a lot to say about planning and environmental issues. But sometimes they don't know what planning is, or how it affects them, the places they like to hang out, parks they go to when it's warm, etc. Whatever topic you choose, make it relevant to them. Teenagers are affected by planning issues, as they haven't been able to drive for most of their lives. They know what it's like to not be able to get to places on foot (or they appreciate when they can)... they'll probably have a lot to say if you can get past the whole "sullen teen" thing .

    -Keep it simple, as a general presentation rule. I always have trouble with this one. So I like to remind myself and others.

    Good Luck!

  13. #13
    planning_chick's avatar
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    The Update

    well Tresmo said to keep it simple and I did. Off the cuff (as usual ) but it worked out well (as it has a way of doing.) Apparently I had the "thug" class (this according to the teacher) and no problems. In fact it seemed alot of light bulbs went off, and I like to think that for at least that class they thought in a way they hadn't before. Kind of cocky considering one girl had her head down on the desk and appeared to be sleeping the entire time , but the rest of the class was into it. Thanks again for everyone's help!!!

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