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Hershey Montessori Middle and Upper School students join The Holden Arboretum to present climate change exhibit

Rachel McKinney, lead teacher in the science program for Hershey Montessori Upper School, works with students studying climate change in the bio shelter on the school's Huntsburg Campus.

Hershey Montessori School students are working with Holden Arboretum to help inform visitors about the impact of climate change on the region’s trees and other plant life.

Students in the Upper School’s 10th and 11th grade integrated science class will be presenting the findings of their research into the chemistry of climate change through an exhibit at Holden Arboretum Saturday, May 12.

The presentations coincide with the arboretum’s development of a new garden installation that examines the effects of climate change on the region’s plant life. Hershey Montessori ninth grade biology students helped to plant trees for the new Climate Change Garden, which will open later this spring.

“It’s always great to work with the staff and students from Hershey Montessori School because their studies and the projects they take on are very pertinent,” says Sharon Graper, Director of Academics at Holden Forests & Gardens. “They are very focused on community concerns, and they put a lot of time and effort into not only learning about the issues, but there is always some sort of action that they do that supports their learning about these topics.”

Hershey Montessori Middle and Upper Schools are located on a 97-acre farm campus in Huntsburg, Geauga County. Both schools' curricula are anchored by studies of real-world issues. The Upper School's Integrated Science class provides credit in chemistry and physical science over a two-year project. The work includes studies in energy, climate change, the use of resources, water issues and the role of technology and science in the field of healthcare.

The Upper School, which will celebrate the graduation of its first class of seniors in June, opened its new academic building this year. In keeping with the school’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the new building is constructed according to the sustainable building standard of the Passive House Institute of the United States (PHIUS). Hershey Montessori Upper School is the first school in the Midwest to follow the standard, which was developed in Germany to cut buildings’ energy consumption by up to 90 percent and drastically reduce the production of greenhouse gases.

The Hershey Montessori Upper School students will present their brochures and posters concerning topics related to climate change during Holden Arboretum’s Mother’s Day weekend events on Saturday, May 12 from 12 to 3 p.m.

“The students have had lessons and given presentations about the past, present and future of climate change, and they understand the urgency of the issue,” says Rachel McKinney, director of Hershey Montessori Upper School’s science program. “Through the generosity of the Holden Arboretum, the students will have the opportunity to communicate the important information they’ve gathered to a public audience.”

About Hershey Montessori School 
Grounded in the tradition of Dr. Maria Montessori, Hershey Montessori School provides carefully prepared learning environments for children from birth to 18 years. Our community fosters personal and academic growth, independence, confidence, responsibility and joyful, lifelong learning. HMS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) school with a governing board composed of parents, educators and community representatives. It has a letter of charter by the Ohio Department of Education as an independent private school serving students through 12th grade. HMS is a member of AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) and OAIS (Ohio Association of Independent Schools). For more information, visit