United States, El Puente: High School Curriculum on Science for Community Action, 1996

In the Fall of 1996, with CIET support, El Puente experimented with an introductory science course for entering freshmen entitled “Science for Community Action”. Its aim was to introduce students to high school science by direct contact with the environmental problems that affect their community. Some of the themes included: the human respiratory system and the varieties of air pollution; measuring ozone levels using the “Eco badge”; the human circulatory system and lead poisoning; urban agriculture; human nutrition and the history of sugar; and the role of trees in the urban environment. Changes in New York State’s high school science requirements led to the elimination of a general introductory science course, but efforts to integrate community concerns into the science curriculum at El Puente continue.