a look over Overlook Elementary School
Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to the Overlook Elementary School in Temple Hills, MD. I was invited by the guidance counselor to speak to the students about “Careers in Geography” for their annual Careers Day celebration. This was my first time in Prince George’s County and I must say that it was very interesting. First off, I rode the Green Line as far as I ever have before- all the way to the Naylor Road Metro Stop. Once at the school (thankfully only a short walk) I realized that aside from 2 teachers, and 3 of the careers guests, the entire student body was African American. I’m not a person who brings up the race card often, but I was just surprised that there wasn’t any racial balance. I expected some sort of desegregation program to be in place in the area, and this realization surprised me.
Regardless of that observation, I had a blast! I brought a few maps to show the kids (a satellite image of Washington, DC and surface map of the United States) as well as my computer with World Wind loaded. The kids were SO enthralled by the program! What I did was locate their school, then before they arrived, I would use the scroll wheel on my mouse and zoom out to the globe, and when I was ready for that portion of the talk, I’d slowly zoom in to the school. The kids would push and shove each other to get a better view of it all! Next year I am definitely going bring a projector so they can see everything in better and larger detail. This is the kind of educational outreach I love and I sincerely hope that I get more chances to visit schools around the DC area. I am itching to volunteer some of my time to help students.
The biggest environmental problem I realized when I was at the school, was that every student was served their lunch on a styrofoam tray. I’d love to graphically show the principal (who was super nice!) how much waste that piles up to be in 1 year, 5 years, etc… I hate styrofoam!