Summer Reading Forum Speakers

On Thursday, August 29, Upper School students participated in a forum about Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction, this year's summer reading, collaboratively chosen by BT's science and English departments. The forum included presentations from faculty and students and scholars from the Omaha community. 

After an introduction from Science Department Chair Meg Harms, Charlotte Hussain, '20, spoke about the evolution of her opinions about the book, the fragmented nature of the writing that ultimately helped aid in her retention of the information, and the overall impact of the book and its reshaping of her views of the natural world. 

Then Cami Kotouc, '22, gave a spirited speech about how such a large and heavy subject can be brought into perspective for a high school student in Omaha, NE, sharing ideas for making small changes that can have a large impact. 

Next, Dr. Theodore Burk from the biology department at Creighton University shared how the Earth's biodiversity has changed in the last 50-100 years, speaking first about large mammals, and then focusing on his area of specialty, insects. 

Professor John Price, director of the creative nonfiction program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, discussed the importance of the relationship between storytelling and science and shared his journey from being a young boy in Iowa who hated the outdoors to a writer who focuses on his personal connections to the tallgrass prairie. He then read an excerpt from Daddy Long Legs: The Natural Education of a Father.

The event concluded with a Q&A between the audience and the presenters. Students will continue to discuss The Sixth Extinction and the forum in science and English classes this semester.

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