Cupertino teacher headed to Galapagos as part of fellowship


Kavita Gupta, a 17-year AP chemistry Monta Vista High School teacher, will be traveling to Galapagos in June as one of 35 educators to participate in the National Geographic Grosvenor Teaching Fellowship program.

The program is a partnership between National Geographic and Linblad Expeditions in which educators participate in a global expedition and bring back their knowledge to share with their students, colleagues and community.

Gupta said she wants to focus her efforts on coral reefs.

“I’m hoping to bring global citizenship into the classroom and bring a little bit more understanding of human impact on Earth,” she said. “Obviously there will be lessons in my classroom around coral reefs, pH and impact of ocean acidification on the reef. I’m hoping to collect data on my expedition from there, get some data from the U.S. Geological Survey and have students look at the correlation of that and what causes ocean acidification and what they can do about it.”

She said she hopes her expedition can drive home to students a sense of responsibility and bring real-world examples to her classroom lessons.

“When I say, ‘The coral reef is dying’ … you don’t feel great about it, but it doesn’t mean much,” she said. “But when I show pictures of those fishes living there and me in there and I say, ‘This is what is going to be dead,’ there is a different understanding of that (impact). I’m going to bring that firsthand experience to bring to life the importance, now more than ever, of human activity on the environment.”

The application process for the fellowship late last year included three essays, a video and letters of recommendation.

“It was pretty intense,” Gupta said with a laugh. “But somehow I did it, and I must have done an okay job. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything out of this …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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