When El Camino Real Academy teacher Ed Gorman became aware of a proposal to consolidate two asphalt facilities into one larger complex just miles from the southwest Santa Fe school, it sparked an idea.

He broached the topic with his fifth grade science students to gauge their interest in the proposal, taking it as an opportunity to engage them in the nuts and bolts of public policy and the intersection between civic government and the environment.

Gorman quickly realized his students were overwhelmingly concerned about the plant.

“I think everyone was shocked,” Gorman said. “They got to do some research, and they decided writing letters would be a powerful way to voice their opinions.”

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