A student at Half Hollow Hills High School West has given her peers and teachers a new learning space amid the pandemic.
Julia Pappania, a senior at the Dix Hills school, has created an outdoor classroom in her school’s courtyard that features 10 “flip top” bench tables near the school’s pond. To fund construction of the classroom, Pappania raised roughly $1,600 through the creation and sales of key chains and earrings, as well as through babysitting and selling Girl Scout cookies.
Pappania tackled the project as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA. She is a member of Troop 1228.
“I was talking with one of my bio tutors about how we thought that learning outside and hands-on for biology would be really beneficial.” said Pappania, 16. “I think it’s important for students to get out of the normal classroom, because everyone has been stuck inside and having a little fun time outside — even if it’s just a normal lesson — can be really beneficial to learning.”
Pappanis is vice president of her school’s Glamour Gals Club, historian of the National Art Honor Society, an editor for the Yearbook Club, and a member of the National Honor Society. She is also a junior board member of the Sophia Valsamos Foundation.