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Teacher hopes to use Alaska fellowship to teach her Framingham students about climate change

Framingham teacher given once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with fellowship in Alaska
Framingham teacher given once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with fellowship in Alaska 02:18

FRAMINGHAM - One high school science teacher is deciding how to make a difference with the opportunity of a lifetime, a fellowship that will take her to Alaska.

"When I heard I was ecstatic and I had tears in my eyes," Rebecca Maynard said. 

Eight days in Alaska

She teaches honors biology and AP Environmental Science at Framingham High School and is a Co-Advisor of the school's environmental awareness club. 

She recently received the prestigious Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship made possible by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions.  

Maynard will join 34 other teachers from throughout the United States and Canada for an eight-day expedition to Alaska. 

"We are going to be given the chance to be working with experts in the field. And we're gonna be visiting really sensitive ecosystems that are affected by climate change," Maynard said. 

She will be working closely with scientists onboard a ship called the Quest. And it's been a two-year commitment that involves a community project with her students in Framingham. 

"This is a way for National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions to really spread awareness about different cultures and different geographical locations and, of course, spread environmental awareness about these locations," she said. 

She's excited to get up close and personal on a subject she's been studying for a long time.

"I want to see what is happening there as far as the effects of climate change. I talk about it, but I've never seen it. I want to be able to see it," Maynard smiled. 

Highlight of her career

Maynard has been teaching science for 21 years and believes this expedition to Alaska will be the highlight of her career.  

She says she will bring the lessons learned on this trip back to her students at Framingham High and the community.

"Environmental Science is so important in the world we live in. And teaching the class and seeing these students, they give me hope for the future. My message to my students is to explore and to really open their eyes to the world around them. They can make a difference," Maynard said. 

Maynard says although she was born to teach, she is ready to become a student again.

"I just want to learn and take in as much as I can," she said.

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