Our series - Learn More, Teach More - highlights the exceptional experiences many Lake View teachers are undertaking this summer to expand their understanding of a topic that will enhance the LVHS curriculum. Ms. Valerie Wadycki, French teacher at LVHS, is a perfect example. She is in France as a Koldyke Global Teacher, a program created by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs to support Chicago area teachers in their quest to bring global affairs topics into the classroom. Wadycki's project brings together World Language and STEM by learning and then teaching her students about "how France embraces cleaner, more sustainable energy." She is traveling throughout France from late June until early August, during which time she is visiting corporations involved with solar, biogas, and wind sources of energy. She writes, "I plan to collect primary sources for a STEM unit of study that compares government and corporate run energy production to citizen sponsored projects."
Wadycki explains that the LV World Language department has redesigned their curriculum so that each unit focuses on a particular theme rather than simply grammar or vocabulary. Her primary sources, including recorded interviews and pictures, will be used to develop lessons that address the AP theme "Global Challenges". Additionally, Wadycki adds, "this is relatable to what is happening in Chicago. In April 2017, Mayor Emmanuel announced plans to power all buildings, including CPS, with renewable energy by 2025. France is a front runner in the field so it would be useful for students to understand their world through their connections to home."
Renewable energy is a topic in the STEM field, but Wadycki's participation in the Koldyke Global Teacher program and forthcoming curriculum for the World Language Department underscores the dedication among the LV staff to STEM as a way of learning, not just a set of subjects.