Bo Hoppin, MS Environmental Studies ’96, is featured in the 2012 PBS documentary, Schools That Change Communities. It’s scheduled to air locally on the WGBH World Channel on June 2, 3, and 9, 2015.
The one-hour film, directed by Bob Gliner, examines place-based and community-based learning, which actively engages students in hands-on investigation of real-life issues in their own communities with their neighborhoods as living classrooms. It follows five very different K-12 public schools in Massachusetts, Maryland, South Dakota, Oregon and California. A few are located in impoverished rural or urban environs, but all share a commonality. They’re taking on educational reform at the local level, getting students excited about learning, and making a difference in the lives of children and their communities.
Hoppin works for the Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School in Mattapan, Massachusetts, a neighborhood in Boston. The school is the focus of a 13-minute segment of the film.
Hoppin coaches about 50 staff, including other AUNE alumni, to incorporate experiential education into their core classroom curriculum to provide quality K-8 public school education in science, math and social justice. He also serves as executive director of the Friends of Young Achievers, and for the past six years, has been an environmental and place-based education consultant for the Boston Nature Center.
The film shows students at the Mattapan school actively involved in projects that connect the curriculum to real issues and challenges in the community. In one class, students worked with a grandfather who is a WBUR (Boston) national public radio show host to produce public service announcements about asthma. Meanwhile, first graders explored a farm-to-table curriculum. After taking multiple trips to apple orchards, a farm and gardens, they collaboratively wrote a book about the farm system.
Crellin Elementary School in Maryland, another school with AUNE ties, is also featured. David Sobel, senior faculty in the education department, has previously worked with faculty and administrators at the K-5 school. Located in western Maryland coal mining country, it ranks among the highest performing elementary schools in the state.
The film follows 4th and 5th graders who participated in the national Trout in the Classroom project, sponsored by Trout Unlimited. Students hatched trout from eggs in their classroom worked with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to test water quality, and eventually released the fish to nature.
Schools That Change Communities will air on June 2, 2015 at 7 pm; on June 3 at 2 am, 10:00 am and 4:00 pm; and on June 9 at 6:00 pm.
The program will also air in various cities throughout the US on PBS World stations, including New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Detroit. Check local listing for times.
Click here to see where to find WGBH World through your cable provider.