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OISE alumna is one of six Canadian educators to receive prestigious National Geographic fellowship

July 28, 2021

By Perry King

As one of six Canadian educators chosen for a prestigious fellowship, Sarah Gallah expected to expedition to the Arctic. But, the coronavirus pandemic postponed that trip.

“I can’t wait for the opportunity to explore, especially the polar regions,” said Gallah, who was named a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow with the National Geographic Society and Lindblad Expeditions. “The Arctic is melting very quickly due to climate change – more so than the Antarctic – and I look forward to the day when I can experience it firsthand, and learn from the scientists, naturalists and photographers on board.”

The Lindblad–National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship is a two-year professional development opportunity for pre-K–12 educators. Fellows complete deliverables that enable them to transfer their experience into new ways to teach students and engage colleagues. They may also be asked to conduct webinars, participate in meetups, and serve as mentors to other educators. The ultimate purpose of the fellowship is to bring new geographic awareness into their learning environments and communities.

Gallah, who earned a Bachelor of Education and Master of Arts degree from OISE, is prepared to make the most of the opportunity.

“I'm quite passionate about climate change,” said Gallah, who teaches science and geography in the Toronto Catholic District School Board. The subject is covered in her classrooms and her school’s social justice club – precisely where she would like to enhance the learning experience.

“I was able to buy all these coding supplies, give them to the students, so they would have them at home and run a virtual coding program called Coding for Climate Change,” she says. “The whole point was, how can we use coding to understand climate science? And how can we also use climate science to learn how to code? I think that virtual program was really neat.”

Gallah, who also secured a National Geographic grant for educators, really cares for her students. “And I believe that it’s through education, that we can really empower the future generation to make some really, really profound impacts on the world. I love working with that age group.”