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CM2 Students Share Their Learning During the China PBL Showcase

Each term at THINK Global School is an opportunity for our students to explore a new part of the world and learn firsthand about the social, cultural, economic, and environmental factors that define it. Most recently, our students wrapped up terms in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Changemaker Cohort 1) and China (Changemaker Cohort 2), the first of four countries they’ll live in over the course of the 2019-20 school year. 

Rather than sit in classrooms and engage in teacher-led discussions, students at THINK Global School work on a variety of projects relevant to the places they find themselves in. These come in the form of teacher-led modules, which are term-long projects where students work in teams to answer driving questions, and personal projects, which are student-driven and allow our kids to explore their passions while mastering 21st-century skills. 

Terms end with a project-based learning showcase, where students demonstrate what they’ve learned during the course of their personal projects and teacher-led modules. Below you can find our most recent Changemaker Cohort 2 Showcase, which was filmed on September 4th, 2019, in Shanghai, China. Have any questions for our presenters? Shoot us an email at community@tgs.org and we’ll pass it along!

Showcase Introduction in China

The Journey Home Module: Arora and Pabi Discuss Migration in China

CM2 students Arora and Pabi presented the Journey Home Module in China which focused on the key question, “How can we make the untold personal stories behind mass migration matter?” 

They defined migration as moving from a rural area to an urban area and stated that China is home to the largest migration in the world mainly due to urbanization. The students in the module focused on making migration matter by sharing personal experiences of individuals they met during the term and how it impacted them. They interviewed several migrants in Shanghai and had them share their personal experiences, and also visited rural villages in China to compare them to Shanghai. 

One main takeaway from the module is that media like news articles only show one perspective of the situation and peoples’ views. Many of the articles students read made it seem like migrants were miserable and were forced to migrate; however, when they interviewed migrates in Shanghai that was not the case. Many were happy with their migration and new life in the city. 

Eng’s Personal Project: How to Tackle the Issue of Land Degradation

CM2 student Eng, who hails from Thailand, presented her personal project on the topic of land degradation. She defines land degradation as the deterioration or loss of the productive capacity of the soils for present and future. Eng explains how land degradation affects everyone through food, climate change, environmental hazards, and loss of biodiversity. Even worse, it’s increasing worldwide at an alarming rate. 

Eng explains the causes including industrialization, overgrazing, deforestation and agricultural misuse and how there are laws in several countries stating that the land when polluted must be recovered either by the polluter, owner or government depending on what country; however, these laws are not always followed which is why land degradation is rising. 

What can we do? Eng explains that spreading the word about the issue and making others aware is one solution. Also making conscious consumer choices of what we buy and from where we buy it and how they are being produced can help make a difference. 

Monica’s Personal Project: The Environmental Impact of Fast Fashion

For her personal project, CM2 student Monica created a video essay focusing on the environmental impact of fast fashion. The goal of the presentation was to convey the environmental effects from fast fashion and how everyone can help reduce these negative effects by being conscience of the items they choose to buy and also by donating clothes instead of throwing them away.  

Clothing brands make new clothes based on the trends of the moment, and churn them out quickly to make them accessible to the general public. Brands that do this are considered fast fashion brands and create a total of 150 billion garments per a year. 

Monica goes on to discuss how the mass amount of clothing produced affects the environment, including the ocean and land, and explains how the production of clothing – from beginning to end – releases an unimaginable amount of greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide into the air. For example, during the fiber production stage oil is utilized. Next, when the clothes are produced chemicals are added to change the appearance of the textiles. As the garment is used by the consumer it is washed with additional chemicals,  and finally after use it goes to landfills where it is eventually burned. 

So what can you do about the issue? Monica explains that the main thing you can do is decrease your purchase of fast fashion brands. If everyone did this, this would decrease consumption and these brands would be forced to reduce their production, lessening the environmental impact. Also, when purchasing clothes look into buying items that are made through greener methods.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Module: Jack and Liam Discuss Naibot

Jack and Liam presented the Traditional Chinese Medicine module. In traditional Chinese medicine, there is an emphasis on yin and yang, which symbolize balance for the mind, the body and the soul. Everything in nature is attached to a ying energy or a yan energy, and you can either have not enough energy or too much energy. For example, there can either be not enough rain, causing a drought, or too much rain resulting in flooding. This concept applies similarly to sickness, especially when determining if you have too little or too much of something in your body resulting in you feeling ill.

For their summative assessment, students participating in the Traditional Chinese Medicine module combined traditional Chinese medicine with artificial intelligence to create a chatbot software application called Naibot (Nai meaning grandma in Chinese). Naibot lets users input their symptoms and  then receive tailored answers for a cure based on traditional Chinese medicine methods. The software uses artificial intelligence to auto generate tailored answers.

Marwa’s Personal Project: Beauty and Makeup Standards in Chinese Culture

For her personal project, CM2 student Marwa created a short video about beauty and makeup standards in Chinese culture. In her presentation, she discusses China’s beauty standards from the past and how they still influence beauty today. Some of the major standards of beauty in China are focused on the eyes, the color red, and skin tone. For example, narrow eyes are considered beautiful since they demonstrate tenderness and red has always symbolized luck, so having red lipstick and blush is viewed as desirable while pale skin represents purity. 

Marwa went to makeup stores around Shanghai to see how they apply makeup today. She concluded that these beauty standards from the past still have a huge impact on beauty today. 

Made In China Module: Monica and Xavier’s Pitch

Monica and Xavier presented their findings from the Made In China module, which focused on the driving question of “What is Entrepreneurship?” For their summative assessment, participating students came up with a business pitch that revolves around their dreams and passions and then developed a company based off of it.

For Monica and Xavier, an entrepreneurial spirit is a mindset and attitude that drives your passion. For their project, they developed a pitch asking for investments in their nonprofit  company, Current, which provides a new source of energy through tidal waves. The benefit of this new energy source is that it brings down the carbon emissions released by electricity.  

Tidal energy is energy from the water current that can provide an electrical current to use for electricity. This energy is able to transform the water current into electricity through the use of  tidal turbines, which convert the water into a usable energy source. Also, one of the huge advantages of tidal energy, other then being eco-friendly, is that it is constant and never runs out. 

For the purposes of the project’s pitchdeck, Monica and Xavier asserted that Tidal as a company have installed tidal turbines in six schools and are continuing to grow with the ultimate goal of having turbines in all coastal areas of the world. As their pitch, they are asking for 10 million dollars in funding support. They explain that 5% of it goes to advertising and PR, 25% towards transporting and installing the turbines, 60% for the production of the turbines, and 10% towards maintenance. 

Made In China Module: Cam and Levith’s Pitch

As part of the Made in China module, students Cam and Levith developed a pitch for their start-up company, Cities that Feel. Cities that Feel is focused on urban mental health and environmental psychology and focuses on a variety of different topics associated with urban living. These include pollution, safety, and transportation — anything that can be fixed to make the residents live in a healthier and happier environment. Cities that Feel’s  ultimate goal is to improve community through renovated and brand new infrastructure.

Made In China Module: Che’s and Eng’s Game

CM2 students Eng and Che combined their skills and passions together to create a game called “Mad Scientist Tycoon.” Che focused on the coding side, creating the user interface and algorithm for the game, while Eng used her graphic design skills to design the assets, images, and artistic concepts.

Mad Scientist Tycoon focuses on being fun and entertaining while mixing in entrepreneurial elements. The game includes a variety of different industries, and the user needs to make strategic business decisions regarding marketing, finance, labor and more for their company within the game.

 

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Ready to embark on the educational journey of a lifetime?

A passion for travel. A strong academic record. And the desire to improve the world as you experience it. If this sounds like you, you just might be our ideal candidate! Start your application with a five-minute inquiry form - you never know where you might end up.

It all starts here.

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