Juniors Against The World

Juniors’ Civic Lab Commences With its First Field Day of the Year


Photo credit: Jeanne Barr

The Students For Sensible Drug Policy Civic Lab group poses at The Chicago Recovery Alliance.

Wednesday, September 30 was the first Civic Lab field day for the juniors, class of 2024. Civic Lab is an extension of the English and History United States-themed junior classes in which students participate in conversations, field trips, and other educational events within groups sectioned off by topics. 

There are many groups tackling different issues, some surrounding equality for women, immigration justice, environmental justice, and other important issues in the United States. Each junior requests which topics they are interested in learning about, and after being sorted, Civic Lab groups learn deeply about that topic and take action. There are a total of five “field days” throughout the year where juniors learn and act on the topics they are studying, in addition to many graderoom visits.

On the first day of Civic Lab, junior Naomi Gross explained that her immigration justice group with English Teacher Matt Laufer talked with an immigration lawyer and a law professor at Northwestern. Her section also had a discussion about the inequality between immigrants who are coming from Ukraine versus immigrants coming from the Mexican border and Afghanistan. 

Other groups like the environmental group went on a field trip to a farm to look at the labs and learn about that process.

Naomi Gross explained that Civic Lab is a “cool opportunity to learn about something that’s related to the things I am learning in school but is a gap in my knowledge. I like that I am able to learn about something that I am passionate about with an issue that I think is important.” 

Overall, Civic Lab helps make good citizens out of Parker students and shows students how they can use their voices and actions to make real change.