November 2018: Original Stories, New Members

We’re halfway through another semester here at Smith College, and the Water Inquiry team has been busy. Not only did we gain several new members, but we met several times during the month to discuss developments on projects new and old.

Water Inquiry’s own Ruth Neils taught our first story, Inquiry, Inc. and The Case of the Missing Ducklings, to third grade students at the Campus School of Smith College. We are happy to report that it was a success; the students were very engaged, and the story helped them think critically about storm drains! We’re examining ways to adapt the story for an older audience, including providing more prompts for scientific and reflective writing. 

Right now we’re in the midst of polishing our second story. As stated previously, it will have an unfinished ending so that the students can think of a solution to the problem posed in the narrative. Some of our new members contributed their creative talents towards the project, and we piloted it during the summer, with fantastic results. We were pleased to see each student’s creative solution! The subject of this story is still a secret, but you can expect it to be flooding out soon. Now we are turning our sights to a third project. As we research, we are considering how to make topics intriguing for children, and what form would best suit our goals.

Stay tuned for more updates and, as always, thank you for your continued support and interest! If you’re interested in participating in this project or would like to find out more, please e-mail Carol Berner or post a comment or question.

But for now, I have the great joy of introducing our new members: 

Emily Buxengaard, a first year, hopes to major in either Chemistry or Engineering and minor in English. While she enjoys all sorts of writing from poetry to novels and wants to publish her work in the future, she has not yet written for children, and so she joined Water Inquiry to expand her skills. She also likes how the project teaches kids to think critically and creatively about problems, and enjoys reading and taking walks through nature.

Abigail Moon graduated from Clark University in May of 2017. Now she’s a post-baccalaureate fellow at the Smith College Museum of Art and a participant in Smith’s MAT program hoping to gain a certification to teach visual art to K-8 students. She likes to embroider, rock climb, and play board games. As a kid, she spent a lot of time exploring, fishing, and swimming in the rivers and lakes in Western Massachusetts; that’s when she decided to protect the water that surrounds her and learn more about it.

First year Katherine Van Green has wanted to be a writer since the age of ten, and as such intends to pursue an English major and Linguistics minor. When she isn’t reading, drafting stories, or tinkering in Photoshop, she can be found enjoying nature. She was interested in Water Inquiry due to her interests in writing and the outdoors. As the year progresses, she is excited to share stories with kids and effect change right here in Northampton.

They will be joining the current Water Inquiry members Brittany Collins, Meghan Johnson, Ruth Neils, Anna Wysocki, and Professor Carol Berner.

Written by Kat Van Green on behalf of Water Inquiry

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