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Dr. Mika Tosca Returns to Parker

On the heels of her public lecture at Parker, Dr. Mika Tosca returned to campus as Parker’s 16th Annual Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist•Inventor•Engineer in Residence to share classroom time and a Morning Ex with the school community.

Tosca first met with students in the Upper School Climate Science and Environmental Justice class to speak about her work at the Art Institute of Chicago helping student-artists explore environmental themes in their work based on their collaborative exploration of scientific concepts in her classes. She shared some of her favorite student pieces, including an oversized folk-art-styled replica of an emerald ash borer beetle made from the wood of an ash tree cut down due to infestation.

In her Morning Ex presentation, Tosca spoke with 3rd through 12th grade students about her 15-year journey as a climate scientist, navigating graduate school and a gender transition while teaching and working towards solutions to the climate emergency. She shared a number of works by undergraduate artists that use art and design to call attention to the problem and help people collectively imagine (and build) future worlds in the aftermath of the climate crisis, then fielded questions on her personal and professional life.

After meeting with Principal Dan Frank and sharing a lunch with Science Department Co-Chairs George Austin and Gabrielle Rose, Dr. Tosca spoke with Upper School student members of the Women in STEM club about her work with SAIC students and showed them some of her favorite student creations.

A student from The Weekly interviewed Tosca before she departed after a very full day. Parker looks forward to another visit from Dr. Tosca in the very near future!

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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.