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Interviewing a Sea Lion
February 13, 2018
Green Teacher

Originally appears in the Winter 2018 issue.

Most teenagers are incredibly comfortable with using technology like YouTube, Facebook Live, and Snapchat to communicate. This comfort inspired me to focus on social media as a platform for youth empowerment in conservation. I developed a multidisciplinary lesson plan to engage teens actively with conservation in their local communities by making high-quality videos and distributing them via social media.

I work as a conservation educator at the Central Park Zoo in New York City, where I had the privilege of working with the participants of, and helping to develop a curriculum for, a three-week long teen summer camp. As part of the curriculum, I developed a lesson plan for a self-selected group of teens to meet for five hours a week to work on a video project. My group consisted of four teens, but the lesson plan is designed for a much larger class that can be split into smaller groups, each of which makes their own video. I asked my class to learn about an environmental issue affecting them, and to create a two minute-long video explaining the issue and presenting a solution or helpful action that an average person could take.

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