Pivoting from Environmental Innovator to Educational Incubator

Published: Mar 17 2021

For the first time in our 20-year history, Fund for Teachers will host a national convening of educators called Plan It for the Planet – An Environmental Summit on Saturday, April 10th. This free virtual event, cohosted by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, will bring together leading innovators from America’s preeminent environmental organizations to help teachers and their students develop action plans to implement in their school communities. (For more information and to register, click here.)

The summit brought to mind a 2017 Fund for Teachers Fellow who is also an environmental innovator – Aaron Appleton. In addition to researching the connection between an Indonesian rainforest and the carbon marketplace with a Fund for Teachers grant, he has also researched the carbon sequestration capacity of meadows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with a grant from Earthwatch Institute and cougars of Yellowstone National Park with a grant from Ecology Project International. Aaron is now leveraging his experiences teaching and researching to shift from environmental innovator to educational incubator by developing new virtual reality platform at the Harvard Innovation Lab to morph science education away from a transactional process to a constructive one.

While we had an interesting discussion on his life as a teacher’s kid and an ethnomusicology major, his startup and his thoughts on what science education will look like post-pandemic, Aaron had a few questions of his own about how things are going at Fund for Teachers...