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Nisky High School becomes one with nature

Biology teacher unveils ‘outdoor science classroom’

Niskayuna High School biology teacher Christopher Jennings on Friday, June 22, kneels next to a garden bed blossoming with plant-life at the new "outdoor science classroom."

Niskayuna High School biology teacher Christopher Jennings on Friday, June 22, kneels next to a garden bed blossoming with plant-life at the new "outdoor science classroom." Photo by John Purcell.

— To help address this issue, he said two raised beds were built that allow someone in a wheelchair to easily access a portion of the gardening area.

Science Department Supervisor Jackie Carrese said the project was a good example of how school staff, students and the community can come together.

“I can’t say enough about Mr. Jennings’ dedication and persistence in making this outdoor science classroom a reality. He, along with several colleagues, have worked tirelessly to provide an instructional area where students can participate in real-life exploration in the sciences,” Carrese said in a statement. “The attention to detail offers innovative learning opportunities in all branches of science.”

Jennings said even if students don’t continue on to an environmental field of study they can learn skills, like being able to grow their own vegetables and maintain a garden.

Even with all the work that has been done, he said there is still some additional work he would like to do to enhance the area.

“My colleagues don’t want to hear that,” he joked, “but there are a few more things I would like to get done and then in two years I will move on to my next project. I have already gotten requests from other departments saying ‘What about our courtyard?’”

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