As far as our food project is concerned, we focused on independent work this week; specifically, the process of refining individual and paired science projects. Students have designed their own research questions and are now developing procedures that they will use to test their hypotheses. They will share their findings during presentations the week of March 20.
On Monday, we welcomed Michelle Rabaut and Katie Kennedy, two University of Michigan students (who are also part of the SK camps and Extended Learning team), to our class. Michelle and Katie are sociology students who have both spent time working, learning, and living in Detroit (as part of UM’s Semester in Detroit program and, more specifically, through Michelle’s thesis research at the Oakland Avenue Urban Farm). They led us through fascinating conversations about food justice, including the concepts of food security/insecurity, food deserts, and the way that food can be used as a tool for social change. After they left, we continued to work through the concept of “gentrification” and the ways in which an influx of resources from outside the community can be both beneficial and detrimental to the community itself.
Huge, huge thanks to Michelle and Katie for coming to share their experiences with us and challenge us to think deeply about complex issues.
We’ve also been busy planning for our “Serve a Good Cause” fundraising dinner for Freedom House (a center for refugees from all over the world that provides shelter, services, and support as people work toward legal asylum status and get settled on their own) on February 28 from 6-7pm at Project23 in Ypsilanti. The 7-8s will be cooking and serving soup, salad, and bread from 6-7pm and the proceeds benefit Freedom House, the only organization of its kind in the United States. If you’d like to join us for this event and you have not yet purchased tickets, please email Rachel by February 24.