Introducing... Water Wednesday!

Introducing... Water Wednesday!

Did you know that Nichols has a theme for the 2017-2018 school year? This year's theme is Water and Community, and our entire school is involving water in everything we do! Here to explain more is seventh-grade science teacher, Sandy Smith '93.

Twenty years ago, one of my first thoughts as the seventh grade science teacher at Nichols was to use water as a lens to introduce students to principles of chemistry through an interdisciplinary approach. My passion for educating kids through the context of the Great Lakes and where we live has inspired me to learn more about our water and all the ways that it connects us as citizens of the Great Lakes and as global citizens.

My curriculum continues to evolve. I am fortunate to work with a special group of colleagues who have been willing to be a part of the journey, sacrificing time and energy because they see the value and the depth that comes from understanding and connecting to where we are from. From puppet shows featuring invasive species, to crafting found poetry and creating "in situ" art sculptures on our local shorelines, to rewriting Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" to tell the story of Scajaquada Creek, our team's work is proof that interdisciplinary teaching is rich.

The 2017-2018 year opened with faculty, staff, and students discussing articles, poetry, and art about water and considering our relationships to our resources, our community, and each other. Faculty explored the Niagara Gorge, Scajaquada Creek, Black Rock, and the Buffalo River to connect with local resources and strengthening community partnerships. We plan to bring in speakers and organize service learning projects centered on local, national, and global water issues. Already we have felt an increased awareness of our community and seen an increase in interdisciplinary and collaborative work. We welcome any effort and assistance to strengthen existing partnerships or to forge new ones with our wider Western New York community.

Throughout the year, you will see updates on our website and on our Nichols social media channels about all of the different ways we are working with water. I'm humbled and excited to partner with my colleagues to offer this important and timely opportunity to focus our attention on this most important resource and our relationship to it.

If you would like to share the ways in which you work with water, please email Sandy Smith at