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BCIL Speaker Series: Liam Flockhart Ford ’19 Returns to Chat with 3rd Graders
by Sarah Bishop, BCIL Extracurricular Innovator & Collaborator

Recently 3rd graders have been learning with Ms. Glick about Global Goals and how they can help address real world challenges by inventing, innovating, and campaigning. On Friday, March 12, 3rd graders gathered with Brentwood alum, Liam Flockhart Ford ’19, to talk about his work to clean and protect bodies of water locally and globally, tying in their recent study of Global Goal #14: Life Below Water. Liam, currently a sophomore at Amherst College, is studying Environmental Science and Spanish, works as an undergraduate research assistant in a biology laboratory, and serves on the board of Amherst College’s Sustainable Ocean Alliance. As a certified scuba diver, he has worked with Conservation International on coral reef and sea turtle conservation projects and has participated in underwater trash cleanups around Southern California. The students were particularly interested in his work with a team in Nuqui, Colombia, where they removed ghost nets from the ocean floor. Students then brainstormed how they could help keep plastic from getting into water and how to get plastic out of the water. They shared their ideas with Liam, who enthusiastically gave feedback and answered questions.

Students had this to say after this event: 

"I really was interested in helping the ocean and I was inspired by Liam." —Jack Z. 
"It is really cool how you cut the nets in Colombia to help protect our marine environment. I was inspired by everything you do." —Ryan Y.
"I learned a lot from Liam and he inspired me to help the ocean anyway I can, especially cleaning up trash because that is what is polluting our oceans." —Ellington Z.
"I learned that there are ghost nets inside of the oceans that capture animals."
"I learned how to start and invent and I learned that the fish will be happy if we invent a solution."
"It sparked my idea for the B49-52 which is an invention to bring water and plastic in and only let water out."
"I invented a place called 'Innovation Trash' where trash can be invented into something new and better."
Third Grade teacher Ms. Maringola reflected on the event as a special full circle moment:

"As Liam’s former 3rd Grade teacher, it brought great joy to have former student Liam F. circle back to 3rd Grade and speak directly to our current 3rd Grade students about Global Goal #14. He unveiled one of his deepest passions, our oceans and the countless threats that plague our marine life. Liam was an incredibly diligent and dedicated student who had a passion for animals and our oceans. His message to the students was clear, ‘How might we protect and make an impact on our oceans?'" 

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