LAKEVIEW, Mich. — Cari Scholtens teaches some very advanced 8th grade science students at Lakeview High School. Now one of them has a letter from the president of the United States.
When Scholtens was teaching the topic of hydrology, a fellow teacher suggested she educate the students about groundwater pollution. Scholtens had learned a bit about hydraulic fracturing while in college, so she too was interested in learning a bit more. Scholtens chose the documentary ‘Gasland’ by Josh Fox, in which Fox takes a journey across country uncovering what he calls as lies, secrets, and contamination.
“Them setting the tap water on fire, really made me upset,” student Mitchell Englund said. ”I did not realize you could do that with tap water.”
At the end of the movie, there is a call for action, and Scholtens’ students were fired up. They decided to write letters to top officials, and Mitchell wrote to President Obama.
Little by little, responses came back from U.S. senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, followed by one from Governor Rick Snyder’s office. But on Monday, a big surprise showed up to Lakeview High School.
“I got called to the office and I thought I might be in trouble and I saw where the envelope was from and I started freaking out,” Mitchell said.
Along with the letter, there was an autographed picture of President Obama, too. All of the letters the class received are in frames, and Mitchell said he is going to hold onto his very tightly.
“They were celebrities here and they still are,” Scholtens said. “Kids are always asking Mitchell to see the letter and to see his picture, I mean to have those things, that’s something he’s going to have the rest of his life.”