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Dr.Radhika Iyengar at NJSSC's 2020 Virtual Fall Summit

During the first session of today’s 2020 Virtual Fall Summit, we heard from Dr.Radhika Iyengar. She works as a researcher for The Earth Institute at Columbia and focuses on international education development specifically regarding teaching students about environmental science and reform. She spoke about her own experience with environmental disasters from when she was young and about others she has researched. A highlight of this discussion was when she described how when she lived in Bhopal, India, her mother woke her up in the middle of the night so that they could leave the city as a gas leak had occurred. This was a crisis in which thousands of people were injured, poisoned, and found dead. It was also her inspiration for her later research on the syllabi of schools all over India. What she found was astounding. She discovered that none of the syllabi even mentioned the Bhopal gas tragedy. In fact, Dr.Iyengar states that “local issues are not addressed in school education. So what are we learning?” This is what then instigated her to focus on integrating more than just scientific facts into our education system. She aims to have our education system teach students about local environmental issues so that youths and adults alike can “come together to solve these [environmental] issues.”

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