It's not every day you find a classes focusing on the issue of noise pollution and how it affects wildlife, but Tommy Hayes, a rookie environmental science teacher in Boston has done just that; turning the need to confiscate the blaring iPod of a student into a teachable moment that class won't soon forget.
But how'd he turn a classroom distraction into such a great piece of environmental education?Well, he started off by telling the offending student not to turn it off as he went to confiscate it, and instead plugged it into a decibel meter while it was still blaring away. When it registered at 98 dB he pointed out to the class that had the student kept it running at that volume his hearing would have been irreparably damaged. And that got the rest of their attention.
Next, he decided to have them test all kinds of noises with the decibel meter, comparing each of them with the sound of birds warbling for mates in the local area. And soon enough students got the picture, recognizing how sound pollution impacts the ability of the bird population to find mates and live their lives in a busy city.
As Hayes shouted above the clanging dismissal bell, "If you're a bird, and you're singing your bird song because you need to find a mate, or find food or warn about danger; How can you compete with all that?"
I think a tip of the cap goes to this first year teacher, who found a great way to turn a potential problem into a moment of learning these kids can take with them for the rest of their lives.
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via: The Bay State Banner