An interview with Science Teacher Graham Jackson
Tell us a little bit about yourself and the journey that brought you to Costa Rica? How long have you lived here?
I am a high school science teacher originally from England, however I grew up all over the world and attended a variety of international schools as a child.
When I became a teacher myself, I decided I wanted to explore the world some more and began my journey by moving to Costa Rica in 2018 to work at a private school. I instantly fell in love with Costa Rica and soon after fell in love with a woman who is now my wife, and since then have moved over to Tree of Life International School in Santa Ana where I lead the ever-growing science department.
You and I met through a Friday evening space oriented web conference series last year. It was great having you and some of your students take part. What interesting space and science programs do you have going on at your school this year?
This year we have had a few fantastic space-related events at school so far. We had an amazing inflatable planetarium come to the school showing a variety of videos relating to space science to students of all ages, and shortly after we hosted our annual STEAM fair, which this year was themed around “My Universe”, where students worked on individual and class projects relating to a variety of topics, from how to grow plants in space, to how plasma cannons work, and if they could be a viable launch mechanism for rockets (Spoiler: They are not!).
Please tell us about your school’s outreach activities.
At our school we have a foundation, Fundacion Arbol de Vida, where we have several projects working with different groups around Costa Rica. A group of students have been going to La Carpio once a week to work with a group of children there.
Recently we have been working on doing fun science experiments with them to help give them a wider education while having some fun. The foundation has also been working with a group of immigrants from across the world, who are on a long and dangerous journey from their home countries to North America.
The foundation has been collecting supplies of medicines to give to the families that have been walking for thousands of kilometers and have thousands more to go. One of our other projects has us going to Talamanca soon to help build a library for the indigenous community.
How can people help support your school’s outreach efforts?
We are always looking for donations of medical supplies, long-life food and educational supplies for any of our projects, as well as people who are interested in giving their time to help people in need.
The best way to see how you could help is to follow the foundation on Instagram (@fundacion_arbol_de_vida) as well as the school (@treeoflifeinternationalschool1) to see what we are doing, and reach out to our foundation organizer Raquel who has been doing absolutely amazing work organizing our outreach projects. We are always appreciative of any help, no matter how big or small!