Bill Finnegan

Bill Finnegan

2002 Urban Fellow

Research Topic: Socio-cultural and Ecological Interactions

Faculty Advisor: Stephen Kellert

Assessment of Hands-on Multi-media Environmental Education for Urban Adolescents in New Haven, Connecticut

Bill’s research project involved participatory video production with teams of New Haven middle school students from the LEAP and Solar Youth after-school programs. Meeting with each team on a weekly basis over the course of a semester, Bill trained the students in basic video production and facilitated a series of peer interviews and school-based and community filming. The student-driven exploration of the urban environment was assessed through pre and post surveys and a content analysis of their videos. Aside from the high level of engagement and empowerment of their voices, the most interesting result of the process was revealed in the drawings of their neighborhoods before and after the video project, with more detailed drawings of environmental harms and assets after seeing their community through the lens of the camera.