Climate Conversations S3E9: Teaching Climate Change with Boston Latin School YouthCAN Teacher Cate Arnold


In Episode 4, we heard about a pioneering form of climate-related learning in the Boston school system, Youth Climate Action Network (YouthCAN). In this episode faculty member Cate Arnold tells us how as a middle school history teacher at the Boston Latin School she started YouthCAN. Not only did YouthCAN became one of the school's most successful clubs, but it also has provided a wealth of learning opportunities for students and faculty for over 12 years.

Cate shares her inspiring stories and lessons learned along the way, all of great value to anyone interested in joining with young people (and other educators) to learn to change.

Cate Arnold: [00:00:00] [00:00:00] I realized that students have the ability to do things, that maybe other folks don't. You know, that if they're pitching their mayor, or their school superintendent, with a well thought out idea of what they want to do, then it's hard to not listen.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:00:20] Welcome to Climate Conversations.

Curt Newton: [00:00:26] Before we get started, a quick note. If you haven't yet, please listen to Episodes two through four in this season, on Learning the Change, where we tell the stories of three groups, who have modeled our season theme. We had to cut so much good stuff out, to create those stories. So, now we're releasing extended cuts, of the individual interviews. We hope you'll like them as much as we do, and that they lead you to a richer appreciation, for what it means to learn to change.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:00:52] Today, we're gonna share our interview with Cate Arnold, who founded Youth CAN, as a history [00:01:00] teacher at the Boston Latin School. We have Cate Arnold here, who is in her 19th year of teaching History, 8th grade History, at the Boston Latin School. She's also an advisor to several clubs, including Boston Latin's, Youth CAN, the Youth Climate Action Network, and we're so excited to have you here, Cate.

Cate Arnold: [00:01:23] Oh, thanks. It's good to be here.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:01:25] So, what's the origin story of Youth CAN anyways?

Cate Arnold: [00:01:28] It's a very strange story from my perspective. I teach U.S. History, and every year we do a mock trial about a German printer in the 1730's, that started printing the truth about the corrupt royal governor, and I do a follow-up with students, about how today's media is functioning, because the media then kind of served as a watch dog on that government, and it wasn't ... They didn't have freedom of the press then, but it was kind of the first inkling that the colonists had that, that was [00:02:00] something they really needed. They needed newspapers to be able to tell the truth.

 So, we did a follow-up. I always call it "Zangers Zingers," and we looked at how the media was covering a current issue, and I chose climate change, because it was 2007, and I had gotten a copy of Al Gore's video for Christmas from my Dad, and I decided to show it to the kids, and then have them look at, how's the media doing covering this issue, and they were horrified. They were appalled. There was nothing being said, really, and what was being said, was you know, denials, big huge attempt on the part of companies like Exxon to really confuse the Science.

 So, they decided they wanted to do something, and they came out with three pages of stuff they wanted to do. One of them was form a club, and I said, "You have to get permission." So, they went ... We kind of prepared what they were gonna say, and they went and talked to one of the assistant headmasters, [00:03:00] and we decided we were going to start a club. We got permission, and I started taking a straw poll of how many kids were interested, and it was almost everybody. I had like 140 kids in my classes, and they were all planning on coming, and my classroom wasn't big enough.

 I said, "Okay. So, we're gonna have to get a different space, and some of you are gonna have to bring your parents, 'cause I can't supervise 140 kids at one time." So, four other adults showed up at the first meeting, along with 90 kids.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:03:29] Not bad.

Cate Arnold: [00:03:30] We formed committees, based on the lists of things they had, that they wanted to do, and one of the parents of a student in my class, was the Associate Coordinator for the Technology and Culture Form at MIT, and she said, "Let's have a Youth Summit."

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:03:45] That would be Trish Weinmann.

Cate Arnold: [00:03:46] That would be Trish Weinmann. Amazing.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:03:48] Yes. Who we interviewed last year. She's terrific.

Cate Arnold: [00:03:50] And the magnificent Trish Weinmann.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:03:51] Yeah.

Cate Arnold: [00:03:51] She's awesome. So, she, you know ... We started planning. One of the other parents said, "You know, we're calling Youth CAN, A Climate Action [00:04:00] Network. Why don't we create starter kits for other kids, that come to this summit, so that they can start Youth CAN groups at their school."

 So, that group started doing that, and another group started fundraising. We raised money. We put together starter kits, and within four months time, we had our first summit at MIT, with about 225 kids, from 47 different schools.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:04:22] Wow.

Cate Arnold: [00:04:25] I was absolutely blown away. I mean, I was begging kids in the hallway, "You have to come help me." I'm lying awake at five in the morning, thinking, "What have I done?" But it was wonderful. It was the most amazing thing.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:04:42] That was 11 years ago, right?

Cate Arnold: [00:04:44] So, last year was our 12th summit.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:04:46] 12th? Oh, wow.

Cate Arnold: [00:04:46] Well, it's 11 years ago last January, but because our first summit, we were only four months old, the 12th summit was last year, so this year will be 13.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:04:57] So, how many [00:05:00] students came this time?

Cate Arnold: [00:05:01] We've stayed pretty stable around the 200 plus number. The demographics have shifted back and forth, from time to time. Sometimes we'll get a whole bus load full of kids, from a particular school, that has found out about it and decided they want to bring everybody, and then, sometimes you know, it's one or two kids from this school, that school.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:05:22] And it's always been at MIT?

Cate Arnold: [00:05:23] It's always been at MIT. Sometimes in the Status Center. Sometimes next door, but always right there, and it's a full day of programing for those kids, so you know, they get the speakers. They get the workshop leaders. We have exhibitors on the street in Stata. They go around to tables and talk to people about the different things they're doing, related to climate change. It's a very cool event.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:05:47] And do you think that your students now, are more aware of the issues, than the students were 12 years ago?

Cate Arnold: [00:05:58] I do think that as a [00:06:00] general rule, just culturally, the awareness has definitely changed. I think those kids were scrambling to get up to speed, to figure out what the various issues were, what kinds of workshops might we include, who could we ask, and I definitely think there is a lot more awareness on the part of kids that come new to Youth CAN, and they come somewhat now, because they know they're interested, a lot of the time. Although, we still get kids that you know, have not been as keyed in and come because there's a friend, or they've heard it's great for leadership opportunities, or they come for all kinds of reasons. So, it's not always that, but I would say more so than it used to be, definitely.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:06:45] And I'm sure it's great for leadership opportunities. In fact, we heard that from some of your ex-students, that we have interviewed.

Cate Arnold: [00:06:52] Yeah. These kids have done such amazing things. We had a guy call the [00:07:00] Mayor, back when Tom Menino was Mayor, and say that he had heard us on the Today Show, and they wanted to meet us. He was in Paris, on his treadmill, when he heard that we were doing the work, that we were doing, and he said he wanted me to call him, so I called, and he said he wanted to come. So, he came, stayed for a week with one of the Mayor's aides, and a teacher and two students, and we took them all over the place, and then they paid for nine of us to go back to Paris for a week, and present at his sustainability conference, and visit their school outside of Paris. It was amazing. We went to the American Embassy in Paris, and talked about starting a group of international climate ambassadors, which didn't really get off the ground, but the dreams were big and really great.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:07:53] That sounds like a movie script, where-

Cate Arnold: [00:07:55] It is like a movie script. It's just like a movie script. It's like a movie that [00:08:00] I was living, and living. It's just crazy.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:08:03] So, over the time, I'm sure many, many exciting interesting things happened, but sometimes there are turning points, or places where you think, "Oh, my God, what a difference this made." Or "People are now getting it the way they weren't two months ago." Were there those moments or learning turning points in this?

Cate Arnold: [00:08:22] There definitely have been times when ... I didn't come to this with any kind of organizing experience. I was a classroom teacher who always felt like I wanted to engage students in some sort of activism that wasn't so political, that it would be problematic for an eighth grade classroom teacher would, if some of these parents weren't happy, and that did actually happen early on. I got some push-back from people, much less. There's nothing like that now, but I wanted to do something like that. I had no clue about how to do it, and I remember [00:09:00] that one point, maybe three, four years in with Youth CAN, students were coming back and saying, "We're getting a lot of crap from other kids. We've got such a big footprint in the school, in terms of the stuff that we've done, and the successes that we've had, that people aren't liking us. They're sort of mocking us." And I thought, Oh, God. That's kind of terrible.

 We had done huge events, teach ins, dumb things in the dining hall at lunch. We did things with costumes. We were raising lots of money. We had won competitions. We had won $25,000.00 in the Green Award, and $15,000.00 in the Green Heroes Award. So, there was a lot of attention that we were getting, and we realized we needed to scale that back in a high school. It's different than maybe, you know-

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:09:58] University. Yeah.

Cate Arnold: [00:09:59] Yeah, at a [00:10:00] university level, but in a high school, kids have all kinds of undercurrents going on about stuff like this. So, we had to regroup and think. How do you put this where people want it? How do you bring things to the school, that people will like, and feel good about? I would say, none of that is there now, that we really addressed that, figured out how to bring water bottle filling stations to the school, and everybody thought, these are great. It was huge. Brings things that people want to have.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:10:30] That sounds like a really important lesson learned.

Cate Arnold: [00:10:32] Right, and I also think a big lesson was, realizing that it's important to shoot big. I really think that it's more exciting, and you get more traction, and I think, I realized that students have the ability to do things that maybe other folks don't. That if they're pitching their Mayor, [00:11:00] or their school superintendent, with a well thought idea of what they want to do, then it's hard to not listen to young people. So, there's a real place for them to make meaningful change.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:11:16] Well, the fact is, climate change will affect them in their generation, a lot more than us.

Cate Arnold: [00:11:21] That's right. Right, and I think students are completely aware of that. I think, the hard part is, kind of weaving together all of the things that you need to know, to have a really considered assessment of what's best to do, because it's so complex.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:11:44] I don't know if they still face some of those obstacles you mentioned a little while ago, off other students being a little bit upset, but I feel like, that is exactly the kind of real world challenge, that you need to solve, right?

Cate Arnold: [00:11:58] Right.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:11:58] Because [00:12:00] this it's a problem that is not just a technical fix.

Cate Arnold: [00:12:04] Right. You have to think about how people who care about the economics of the situation, and how are you gonna make system change? One of the things we've really thought about is that, we need to be teaching students to think in terms of systems, and how they're interconnected.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:12:21] Absolutely.

Cate Arnold: [00:12:21] So, we've been pushing that kind of thing in our school, and with some success, because it's an old, old, old, old, old school, you know, 1635, it takes a lot to deal with that kind of freight of tradition. I think, in some ways, the larger world is no different.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:12:46] So, where have you found those points of success? Where in the school? In the other fellow educators, the administrators, students? Where are the places where you've found, Hey, there's a place where we can make this all more accessible and think in [00:13:00] systems?

Cate Arnold: [00:13:00] I think with the annual Teach-In that we've done, although it hasn't been every single year, because the bandwidth has fluctuated, in terms of the ability to do that, but that's been one place. Bringing big things to the school, that teach those lessons of sustainable, so the Freight Farm that we brought to the school, that has people thinking about sustainable food systems. We brought a big giant globe to the library. It's massive. It's, I don't know, 10 feet in diameter. It came from a museum, and I went to Vermont and drove and got it in a truck, and brought it back, because we wanted something big and visual, and put a big sign overhead that spans the entire wall of the room, that say, "Sustainability starts local or supports." I can't remember exactly what it says on it, but it's about the idea of making the school more sustainable, and having the ripple effect [00:14:00] of doing that.

 So, there are all kinds of different things that we've done. We had an annual assembly for the youngest kids in the school, and I guess I've seen the biggest change there, that the people who ... The headmaster that introduces us, now talks about us as a powerful force in the school, that something that students should want to get involved in, and it used to be kind of acquiescing to the fact that we had asked again, to have this assembly, and now it's kind of a regular part of what every new student gets right around Thanksgiving time. There's this annual assembly, that all seventh graders go to about climate change.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:14:40] That's the youngest age group in the school is 7th graders?

Cate Arnold: [00:14:42] That's the youngest.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:14:42] Were they 10 years, 11, something like that? 12?

Cate Arnold: [00:14:46] They're 12. Yeah, 12.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:14:47] 12, Oh, okay.

Cate Arnold: [00:14:48] Yeah, 'cause my are 13, turning 14, when they're in eighth grade, generally.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:14:53] Have you seen a shift in your colleagues?

Cate Arnold: [00:14:58] I definitely have seen [00:15:00] people become more interested. The AP Enviro folks and the Physics folks have been very supportive all along. We've also been able to hand-off some of the things that we've done. So, when we got three raised beds early on, we were able to hand that off to a Biology teacher, who took over and created a garden club, that she was then in charge off. I like that idea of bringing something to the school, and handing it off, and having it become something that somebody else is doing. We did that with a wind study on the roof. Gave it kind of to the Science Department, and then students made that their own study with the anemometers.

 I think the more you can do that, you know, engage others with the things you have, that they might like. I still have not found a way. There's interest, but we haven't managed to do it to have the Statistics Department working with our Building Dashboard, to have students crunching the real time energy use, [00:16:00] and kind of engaging the school in what they're finding, but that's on our to-do list.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:16:05] Could you say a little bit more about that Dashboard? I think our listeners would love to hear a little bit more of what that's about.

Cate Arnold: [00:16:10] This is from a company called Lucid, and it was part of what we won, when we put together our $75,000.00 proposal for what we would do with money in the Green School Makeover competition. We said we would get the Freight Farm, and we would get this Building Dashboard, and it tracks the real-time energy use, and it has a display in the main lobby as you come through the front door. There's a back end. You can scroll through different screens, and see different things about sustainability initiatives at the school, and you can look at the weather. You can do all kinds of things, but it's also set up so that, students in a computer lab could access the real-time data, and work with it, and configure it in different ways, and figure out what they're actually seeing about the buildings performance, and the energy use, and you could also hook [00:17:00] a system like that up to the water in the building. We haven't done, but that's out there as a goal.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:17:06] They can see themselves in that. How much water am I using? How much electricity am I using, or are we using?

Cate Arnold: [00:17:12] We're planning to do a bunch this year, because we worked last year in a pilot with the school district on something called the Arc Platform, which is an online platform to track sustainability. There are a whole bunch of different measures for tracking how you're doing from behavior to transportation, to waste, and food waste, and on and on it goes. We did some of that and we're gonna dig a lot deeper in to that this year.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:17:40] So, let's say you're not from such a storied educational institution. How can you adopt some of these ideas?

Cate Arnold: [00:17:51] I still think that putting kids out front. I think something the mistake that teachers, [00:18:00] or faculty advisors make, is that they think students should be generated all this on their own. I always have felt like, how would they possibly know how to do that? I don't even know how to do it. So, what we've done is dig in together, side-by-side, as though I'm one of them, except that I'm a grown-up, so I can add a little more to the mix about how we want to write something, or what we think we need to think about to make something actually happen, how much we need to prepare if we're gonna go make a pitch to somebody. Who's gonna say what?

 So, I help in that way, and they have more success, and they're way more excited, because what they're going for is so much bigger, and I just think in any school, if you had one advocate, that was willing to work with kids like that, and figure out something that they wanted to do that was pretty ambitious, that's a good place [00:19:00] to start.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:19:00] Sounds like you're also giving them ownership.

Cate Arnold: [00:19:03] Yeah.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:19:03] It's theirs. Like you said, you're there with them, learning and providing your adult viewpoint on things, but it's theirs.

Cate Arnold: [00:19:11] It's theirs, yeah. I remember when Rebecca came and said, "I think this year, we should have a focus every year, and this year it should be food." And so, we made videos about food. What's real food? We did challenges in the dining hall. The kids submitted ... There were contests about healthy food. We did a food fashion show. It was crazy. We wrote really cool copy about the food fashion shows.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:19:37] Food fashion. What does that look like?

Cate Arnold: [00:19:38] It was absolutely hysterical.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:19:40] People putting bananas on their head?

Cate Arnold: [00:19:41] No, we had people doing a stage walk with pretend food, but really it was the copy about the food. It was, "Move over disgusting burger." It was so clever. Really, so clever. I loved that.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:19:58] I'd love to see some videos [00:20:00] of that one.

Cate Arnold: [00:20:00] Yeah, and we've made lots of videos. That's another thing that's really great to do with students, I think. Enter competitions, win money. Those things can be done. There are things out there, and once you have a little money, then you're thinking, what now? Now what can we do?

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:20:16] What do you do?

Cate Arnold: [00:20:17] Spend it. Spend it on more, you know. Buy green spandex suits, and figure out what you're gonna do with those. There's all kinds of things. I remember when we wanted the school to do ... We had done an energy audit and we wanted them to do the lighting retrofit that was recommended. So, $75,000.00 lighting retrofit, but the energy company was gonna pay 50,000 of that, so it was gonna cost the city $25,000.00, and they would save $33,000.00 a year.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:20:51] That's a no-brainer.

Cate Arnold: [00:20:52] A no-brainer.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:20:53] Yeah.

Cate Arnold: [00:20:53] Right? And they said ... 'cause I mean the stack of things that schools, the 130 schools in the Boston [00:21:00] Public School System needs is astronomical.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:21:02] Endless. Yes.

Cate Arnold: [00:21:03] Endless. So, they said, "we really can't do that." So, we had a fundraiser, and we raised money. $7,400.00, and we went to them again and said, "We got $7,400.00 we'll give you towards it." And they were like, "Oh, God. We can't take your money. Okay, we'll do the lights." And all of the stuff was put in my name. That Fall, I was getting calls from truckers saying, "I have your shipping order with Cate Arnold's name on it." Flats of light bulbs and lighting fixtures showed up, with my name on them.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:21:37] So, you didn't do all the installation, right?

Cate Arnold: [00:21:38] No. I didn't do any of it. It was just crazy. I think somebody did that on purpose.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:21:47] I want to talk about your History teaching, because you've been engaging with students on all these kind of hands-on activities. Does that come back in to the classroom?

Cate Arnold: [00:21:58] All the time. [00:22:00] Yeah. There's lots of ways to talk to students in a History class about sustainability, and have it be part of the picture. Even in terms of saying, "Why is it important to know the history we were handed?" And one of the examples I use early in the year is ... So, how do you think people felt in 1803, when the country doubled in size, with the Louisiana Purchase? Do you think they had a sense of ... Do you think American identity was kind of tied to a sense of vast, limitless resources? Yeah, they all pretty much think that, that was the case. Do you think American identity may still be tied to a sense of vast limitless resources, even though it doesn't serve us as well today? How many people think that? And the hands all go up.

 The importance of studying History is, to be able to unpack the suitcase, that we've been handed from the past, that we're actually living out of, and [00:23:00] decide what parts of it are serving us today. What parts of it aren't serving us? How do we want to be? What do we want to do with all of this? I think that crosses all kinds of ... We've been focused a lot in my classroom, for the last couple of years, on racism and really trying to think about that, and of course, that's an issue of sustainability too, because if you don't address those issues, it's not sustainable. It's just not.

 Economics sustainability. Social justice. It's all ... So, there's lots of ways to bring that in to the classroom, and a lot of times, my students, I give them extra credit to do some sort of community service. You want to help with the light bulb drive that we're selling to raise money? I'll give a little extra credit for that, because I'm trying to help students become civically engaged, and it's the way that they can support something if they think it's important that they can do that. I give them all kinds of [00:24:00] other opportunities for extra credit too, but-

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:24:01] Let's stay with that a bit, about becoming civically engaged. How else has the Youth CAN affected your students?

Cate Arnold: [00:24:09] My 8th grade History students?

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:24:10] Any students that have been in Youth CAN. What's the difference in their lives, because of having been touched by you, or Youth CAN, do you think?

Cate Arnold: [00:24:18] Well, they would be better to speak to that, than I am really, but I've seen students grow in confidence, in their speaking ability. Some have gone on to do things directly related to the field, and others haven't, but I don't think that the consciousness and the ability to think in terms of how all of this stuff relates, ever leaves. You don't step back from that. That doesn't go away. I think that's the biggest impact probably, is when you're asking yourself, "What do we need to do here environmentally." You're also having to [00:25:00] think, what do we need to do, in terms of social justice? What do we need to do economically? How do we need to consider all the stakeholders?

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:25:08] It's a whole different framing of the issues.

Cate Arnold: [00:25:10] Yeah.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:25:12] All of this makes me think of what you said earlier about system thinking.

Cate Arnold: [00:25:15] Yeah.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:25:16] Do your students get it?

Cate Arnold: [00:25:19] I think they do. I think they get it more intuitively, initially, and then they become articulate about explaining it. We were in D.C. for an award in June, and we were telling the staffer and Elizabeth Warren's office, why we really wanted their help at the State level in Massachusetts, pushing for Education for Sustainability, in the broadest possible way, because it fits with everything that is needed. It's not just about climate change, of course. It's that big picture [00:26:00] thinking.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:26:01] I'm assuming your students went with you to D.C.?

Cate Arnold: [00:26:02] Yeah, and one of them immediately wrote back and applied for an internship in her office. So, there you go. That tends to be what happens, that kids go on to do. Susan's working this Summer. She's a Junior.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:26:18] Susan Tang

Cate Arnold: [00:26:19] Yup.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:26:19] In Representative Kennedy's office, I think she said.

Cate Arnold: [00:26:22] Yup. Yup. Joe Kennedy's office, and Rebecca Park worked in Elizabeth Warren's office for a Summer.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:26:27] Great experience.

Cate Arnold: [00:26:28] Yeah, great experience. Great, great experience.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:26:30] So, what's on the horizon now? You've been working so fabulously the last 11, 12 years, and-

Cate Arnold: [00:26:37] More of the same. The ultimate goal is to figure out how to institutionalize the changes, the thinking, so that when I retire, which I will have to do someday, that it doesn't all go away. That it wasn't the belonging of one teacher, and the passion of one teacher. That's always a challenge. How do you make this part of this big [00:27:00] school of 2,400 students, and a whole bunch of faculty, who come and go, and come and go? How does it become the fabric of that place, and part of the fabric of the larger society Is there a way we could hand-off the Summit to somebody else, you know, or some other teacher at our school?

 I keep trying to draw in other schools in ownership of the event, to have it be more, not just a Boston Latin School organized thing. It's complicated, because that makes even more meetings that you have to have, and figure out who's doing what.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:27:34] So, is there a kind of coalition that's formed across the schools in the-

Cate Arnold: [00:27:35] We tried, and there were a bunch of schools early on. We tried to be an actual network, and at the peak probably, there were probably 32 or so schools, that were listing themselves as Youth CAN groups. We never had the bandwidth, given all the other stuff that we were doing to make that happen, in terms of [00:28:00] like maybe bi-yearly meetings, where we would set an agenda for the group as a whole, and then talk about what to showcase what students were doing at their different schools, maybe at the Summit. We had kind of an idea of what that Youth Network might look like, and maybe it would be sort of legislative pushes. We tried to also partner with older 20 somethings, in either 350.org, or Massachusetts For a Brighter Future. It was called something earlier before that. We were trying to try to connect with them, and see if they could facilitate those meetings. The Alliance For Climate Education. There were people there for a while, that we were trying to get to do that.

 I would still welcome a grant and funding, and an organization that wanted to try to make that happen, because I think there's a place for it.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:28:55] With ACE or whomever.

Cate Arnold: [00:28:57] Or whomever, yeah, but it's [00:29:00] not at the top of my list, because there's just more things that we're trying to do in terms of institutionalizing the Summit, and doing things at our school, to make sure that it happens.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:29:14] Plus I'm sure the administrators are expecting you to continue teaching History to the 8th graders.

Cate Arnold: [00:29:18] Oh, that. Yeah, exactly.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:29:21] It's not as if your plate isn't already very full.

Cate Arnold: [00:29:24] Right. Right.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:29:24] Yeah. So, let's say that the MacArthur Foundation came to you and said, "Here's the check. You can put as many zeros as you want."

Cate Arnold: [00:29:33] I always thought that would be Sumner Redstone. The Sumner Redstone Green Roof. Doesn't that sound good? It's like red and green. It sounds beautiful.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:29:42] But what would you want to do? Like, meaning if you are to leave a legacy for your students, for Boston Latin, for other schools. What do you think is the most pressing thing to do?

Cate Arnold: [00:29:53] I still would've loved to have put a state-of-the-art [00:30:00] shared sustainability center, on the roof of that school, that other schools ... With a plan initially, was that they could access it externally. That other schools would come there. The kids had envisioned all kinds of things, like a Peru Two we were gonna have, with those scenes that you get from the Prudential Tower, and you would be able to do computer overlays of how to deal with brown space, or brown fields. I've forgotten, and food deserts, and asthma locations, and that you would be teaching these big ideas of sustainability from this rooftop learning center, that had all kinds of different ways to access information, and people would come and do that there. You'd have to have somebody that would run it, but I just thought it's such a good thing for the City of Boston to have students having that targeted information, about how to think about these things, and making it [00:31:00] apparent to them. You know, teaching in that way.

 Teaching educators. I would love to have there be some Summer training for teachers, that is required.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:31:11] As it just turns out, I have Sumner Redstone on fast dial right here, so we'll see what happens.

Cate Arnold: [00:31:17] Oh, my goodness. Yeah.

Dave Damm-Luhr: [00:31:19] So, what gives you hope.

Cate Arnold: [00:31:22] Well, the students. I mean, because they're amazing, and because they can do anything. They're so passionate, and smart, and capable, and you just never know what's gonna happen next. I mean, I also think that change comes in these weird fits and starts. As discouraging a time as this is, in so many ways profoundly, I wonder [00:32:00] sometimes if it's isn't inspiring people to do exactly what we need them to do.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:32:06] Amen to that.

Cate Arnold: [00:32:07] Yeah.

Rajesh Kasturirangen: [00:32:08] Thank you so much.

Cate Arnold: [00:32:09] Thank you.

Curt Newton: [00:32:12] We hope you've enjoyed this extended interview cut. Please be sure to check it out in context in the prior Episode Four, Next Gen. Learning to Change with Boston Latin School of Youth CAN.

The Climate Conversations podcast is engineered and edited by Dave Lishansky. Project and Media Support by my MIT Open Learning colleagues, Laura Howells and Mikaela Joyce.

Please subscribe and rate us, wherever you find your podcasts. Join the community on climate.mit.edu, and be in touch at Twitter, ClimateX_MIT, and Facebook, group name, MIT Climate.

For my co-hosts, Rajesh Kasturirangen, and Dave Damm-Luhr, I'm Curt Newton. Thanks so much for [00:33:00] listening.


Climate Conversations S3E1: The Psychology of Learning to Change, a Conversation with Renee Lertzman - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e1-psychology-learning-change-conversation-renee-lertzman

Climate Conversations S3E2: Free Choice Learning in Universities with MIT Terrascope - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e2-free-choice-learning-universities-mit-terrascope

Climate Conversations S3E3: Learning in Community with Mothers Out Front - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e3-learning-community-mothers-out-front

Climate Conversations S3E4: NextGen Learning to Change with Boston Latin School YouthCAN - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e4-nextgen-learning-change-boston-latin-school-youthcan

Climate Conversations S3E5: More with MIT Terrascope Lecturer Dr. Ari Epstein - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e5-more-mit-terrascope-lecturer-dr-ari-epstein

Climate Conversations S3E6: The Making of a Climate Scientist with MIT Terrascope Alumna Lauren Kuntz - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e6-making-climate-scientist-mit-terrascope-alumna-lauren-kuntz

Climate Conversations S3E7: Building a Community with Mothers Out Front Co-Founder Vanessa Rule - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e7-building-community-mothers-out-front-co-founder-vanessa-rule

Climate Conversations S3E8: Moving into Action with Mothers Out Front Chapter Leader Stacy Levy - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e8-moving-action-mothers-out-front-chapter-leader-stacy-levy

Climate Conversations S3E9: Teaching Climate Change with Boston Latin School YouthCAN Teacher Cate Arnold - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e9-teaching-climate-change-boston-latin-school-youthcan-teacher

Climate Conversations S3E10: From Learning to Teaching with Boston Latin School & YouthCAN Alumna Rebecca Park - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e10-learning-teaching-boston-latin-school-youthcan-alumna-rebecca

Climate Conversations S3E11: Learning to Lead with Boston Latin School YouthCAN Co-President Susan Tang - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e11-learning-lead-boston-latin-school-youthcan-co-president-susan

Climate Conversations S3E12: Turning Learning into Habits with Quinton Zondervan, City Counselor - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e12-turning-learning-habits-quinton-zondervan-city-counselor

Climate Conversations S3E13: Season 3 Wrap-up: What Have We Learned About Learning To Change? - https://climate.mit.edu/podcasts/climate-conversations-s3e13-season-3-wrap-what-have-we-learned-about-learning-change