Connecting Cultures


By Carolyn Belardo

It’s wheels up for the Academy’s Jacquie Genovesi and Betsy Payne, who flew off today with five Women In Natural Sciences students on a 6,400-mile journey that will take them to a global hotspot of climate change.

Destination: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Their two-week trip no doubt will be a defining moment in the young lives of the WINS students, all Philadelphia public high school girls who are enrolled in the Academy’s premier science-education program. And the experience is one that the Academy officials will be telling their grandchildren.

The teens and 10 other WINS students are participating in a Museums Connect program to learn how climate change is impacting the lives of their teenage counterparts in Mongolia. Four of those Mongolian “counterparts” spent a week in Philadelphia in March, and now it’s the Academy girls’ turn.

Under the supervision of Genovesi, vice president for education, and Payne, WINS manager, the students will have plenty of serious climate change lessons to absorb, including meeting livestock herders whose livelihood is being threatened by rising temperatures. Some of the lessons will be led by Mongolia graduate students who had worked with Academy scientists, who continue to conduct environmental and biodiversity research in the country.

But no summer vacation is complete without experiences to tell your friends about. Munhtuya Goulden, Museums Connect project program coordinator of the National Museum of Mongolia, has been working closely with the Academy and has arranged a full schedule of amazing activities for the group. They include riding a camel, milking a goat, staying in a ger, and cooking goat meat the “boodog” Mongolian way.

To learn more about this exciting program, watch this video:

Here are other blog posts that describe the program:

Teen Trek to Mongolia

Teen Exchange on Climate Change

Photo Essay: Hosting Mongolian Teens

Photo Essay: Mongolian Ambassadors



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