Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ash Spill IVC Collaboration with Community Members in East Tennessee

Freya Sachs' high school Environmental Perspectives class joined other classrooms around the country on January 28 for a presentation with Roan County High School students and community members who were affected by the now-infamous Emory River ash spill. The spill, occurring in December 2008, is described along with some of its thorny issues in this quote from knoxvillebiz.com:

An estimated 1.1 billion gallons of water and ash burst from a failed retention pond for the TVA Kingston fossil plant near Harriman in the early morning of Dec. 22, 2008. Following the spill, TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore said TVA was throwing all available resources at the problem and was in the process of beginning the reclamation phase of the cleanup operation. Meanwhile, nearby residents were left homeless and others fretted about the possible effects on their health. On July 28, 2009, the TVA inspector general wrote in a damning report that found TVA could have prevented the spill and limited the probe of its cause.
Members of the community were there, a representative from TVA gave a talk describing his organization's policy and responses, and the mayor made a little speech, then students from all participating sites were allowed to submit two questions apiece to any of the presenters. It was quite an interesting hour.

I invite students to comment here.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Vanderbilt Virtual School Black History Month at USN

Our 5th grade students are participating along with several other schools across the country in an Interactive Videoconferencing series offered by Vanderbilt Virtual School and focused on Black History. The series, as outlined by the VVS website, consists of five program presentations with opportunities to ask questions of the presenters. The classes will participate in the first four, but they'll have to miss the last opportunity due to scheduling complications.

This a wonderful series and we thank VVS Director Patsy Partin for putting it together and making it available. Thanks also to Tandberg Corporation for their loan of the fabulous Edge95 codec that makes our crystal clear connections possible!

From the VVS website:


For students in grades 5 -12

Tuesday, February 2
Dr. Frank Dobson
“From Slavery To Freedom: Stories of Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and Harriet Tubman”

Tuesday, February 9
Howard Gentry
“Breaking the Color Barrier”

Tuesday, February 16
Dr. Frank Dobson
"Life and Legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar"

Tuesday, February 23
James Nixon
"Black History of the Blues"

Thursday, February 25
David Mills
Unholy: The Slaves Bible

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