Germantown Friends School Science Teacher Ian Van Wert led a foraging trip on the school’s campus and served up a snack of steamed stinging nettle leaves and Japanese knotweed at the annual FEEN Conference, which GFS hosted April 30-May 1.

Germantown Friends School Science Teacher Ian Van Wert led a foraging trip on the school’s campus and served up a snack of steamed stinging nettle leaves and Japanese knotweed at the annual FEEN Conference, which GFS hosted April 30-May 1.

At the Friends Council on Education-Friends Environmental Education Network (FEEN) conference, more than 25 teachers and administrators from 17 Quaker schools gathered at Germantown Friends School to discuss ways to teach students about the urban water cycle, the origins and quality of food, and protecting the environment.

Germantown Friends School science teachers Geoffrey Selling and Karen Cherubini hosted the annual conference on April 30 and May 1.

“The conference is not just for science teachers,” Cherubini said. “FEEN is a gathering of Quaker educators, lifelong learners, furthering environmental education and sustainable practices in their communities. This forum is where we share our hard-earned successes and our failures. We lift each other up and inspire one another to hold on to our ideals and continue the long road ahead.”

The group toured the GFS LEED-certified Wade Science Center, and GFS alumnus Norris Child spoke about urban beekeeping with children. Also, Tatiana Garcia Granados, founder of Common Market Philadelphia, presented her work on improving the quality and sustainability of the food served in the cafeteria at GFS and other area schools. GFS science teacher Ian Van Wert took the group on an urban foraging trip around the Germantown campus, and served a snack of steamed stinging nettle leaves and delicious Japanese knotweed.

“We engaged many members of the GFS community to help share their insights and honor the teaching they have done to raise awareness and encourage stewardship,” Cherubini said. “It was an honor and a privilege to host this conference.”

This network of teachers meets every year to further its mission that “students should learn how they can best understand, preserve and restore the natural processes, resources and beauty so vital to the Earth and to humankind’s physical and spiritual health.”

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