By Nia Jones and Sean Youra
After a difficult school year of adjusting to learning virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marin School of Environmental Leadership (MarinSEL) students finally got a chance to engage with one another this summer in some hands-on learning prior to the start of the new school year.
MarinSEL students were reunited during the summer retreat
Environmental and Sustainability Emphasis
An environmental and sustainability emphasis was central to many activities, just as it is in the MarinSEL curriculum that students undertake through this four-year program. For example, the Design Thinking activity involved students working in groups to redesign a consumer product such as shampoo or cleaning wipes. Students learned about the design thinking process by going through an accelerated version to develop a sustainable product idea.
A student group presents their idea for reusable cleaning rags during the Design Thinking activity
This year’s retreat had a timely addition to the schedule of events centering equity, social justice, and implicit bias. The students were led by Dr. Jeremiah Sims & Rachel Sims of Rooted in Love. Over the course of two days, the students were instructed to define key terms such as racism, prejudice, implicit bias, and stereotype. In addition, the students were tasked with deconstructing their prior knowledge in order to develop a critical consciousness about issues involving race. While MarinSEL students came to the retreat with a strong knowledge of these topics, they were able to walk away with new and valuable insights.
The SEI Team
Environmental education and workforce development experts share stories from the field