This July we hosted 22 teens, ages 13-18, as part of our summer institute, Virtual TeenNat. Due to COVID restrictions, we were unable to have students visit Pepperwood physically for a regular TeenNat experience, but we were able to pivot to a virtual platform so that the program could continue. We retained the essence of TeenNat – teaching key lessons on ecology and science, feeling a deep connection to nature, and creating a community of teens who are inspired to become stewards of the environment.
We were thrilled to have our students regularly attend meetings every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and work on independent outdoor explorations and assignments during the weekends. These teens explored nature close to home in their backyards, neighborhoods, and local parks. During our online time together, teens participated in lessons focused on a range of topics including thinking like a scientist, ecology concepts and local flora and fauna, nature journaling, photography principles, community science, and career awareness.
Virtual TeenNat culminated with presentations of each participant’s student-driven projects including creative short films, nature journals, storybooks, photography, and poetry, as well as trash clean-ups and research projects on plants, animals, and ecosystems they chose to study.
We invite you to explore this diverse gallery of projects the teens completed, and to hear about their work in their own words.