Alumni Speaks with Upper School History and Science Course Students

Grace Smith ’10 returned to Parker last week to speak to students in the Upper School course Climate Science and Environmental Justice. This course merges the science aspects of climate change with the historical and political side: students spend two days focused on science and two days on history/politics, with a guest speaker or lab to round out the week.

Smith is an attorney at Environmental Defense Fund where she works on federal advocacy to cut methane and local air pollution from the oil and gas sector. Prior to joining EDF, she clerked on the Colorado Court of Appeals and at a small environmental law firm. Smith graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and, while there, interned with the Environmental Law & Policy Center, Earthjustice, the Center for International Environmental Law and the Hawai’i Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice.

Prior to Smith’s visit, Upper School Science teacher Xiao Zhang spent time teaching students about methane, while Upper School History teacher Andrew Bigelow filled them in on activism and finding their call to action. For Bigelow and Zhang, “Grace fit both bills—she gave us the science and also advocated for environmental justice.”
“She rocked it,” Bigelow shared. “The kids were so enthralled by all that she has accomplished since she graduated in 2010. They all remembered her MX last year and were thrilled to have her in class.”

Parker is grateful and lucky to have an alumna like Smith, who is willing to return to our “model home” and spend time with students discussing and sharing her expertise while advocating for her passion. 

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Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.