What a bittersweet day today was, as I said goodbye to my 8th graders.  This is the class that has been a part of the India project for the last two years straight.  This is the group integral in the design and implementation of every facet of our mission.  I am both thrilled and humbled to have had the opportunity to teach them about science and so much more for the last two years of their lives.

The students have blossomed and morphed into such independent thinkers and problem solvers.  They have displayed levels of compassion and commitment that most middle school aged children, and furthermore adults, have never achieved.  The idea of working on a local spun project and the trajectory it took still confounds me today.  A simple discussion in class that asked the what if–“Can we go to India ourselves”?  Fast forward to this moment today, and we are merely 11 days from setting foot on Indian soil!

This project has taught me so much about keeping loose parameters on expectations for students through their learning process, because it pushes them to produce their best work.  Work that they don’t know until that moment that they are even capable of.

Because of this group of 8th graders, I aim to create similar projects for future students. They are the trailblazers, the trendsetters, the mastermind of good work on this planet, and I thank them for that.