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Land and Sea: A Look at Our Project-based Learning Modules in Oman

Beauty has an address.

Where do you think of when you hear this slogan? Perhaps Paris? Barcelona? Maybe Sydney?

There’s no denying the beauty of those three world-class cities. Yet, the slogan belongs to one of the most understated nations in the world, a place where white buildings splashed with pastels rest beneath dramatic mountain peaks.

The slogan, as you have it, belongs to the small, welcoming nation of Oman.

Traditional wooden dhow boats in Sur, Oman

Beauty can be found everywhere in the oldest independent state in the Gulf, and our CM1 students head to Muscat, Oman, this week for the third term of their 2022-23 school year. Like in all of the countries THINK Global School visits, they’ll be working on projects central to their surroundings.

They’ll have opportunities to revel in Oman’s ancient and beautiful architecture and customs. They’ll explore maritime traditions in the beautiful Gulf of Oman and submerge themselves among the beautiful reef fish, sea turtles, and Devil rays that call the Arabian Sea home.

Exploring Omani traditions, maritime culture, and marine conservation efforts are the three cornerstones of our modules this term, and you can learn about each of them below. We also invite you to follow us on Instagram for regular updates from the term.

Beauty has an address, and we’re about to make it our home. ❤️🇴🇲

From Spices to Oil: Sailing Through Oman

Educators: Neeki Armani and Samuel Adiboye

Driving Question: How has Oman’s sailing history shaped its present and how will it continue to shape its future?

Module Overview: In the From Spices to Oil module, students will explore how Oman’s sailing history has shaped its present and how it will continue to shape its future. To do so, they will take on the role of historically-informed sailors and experience traditional maritime routes in the Gulf of Oman firsthand. Before setting sail, students will become familiar with the science of sailing and the concepts that make it possible and lead to high performance. Overall, it’s a unique opportunity to learn about geography, natural resources, and science while being physically challenged along the way.

Final Product: Participants will also work to produce a model sailboat to share information about Oman’s rich history with the local community. The model will be constructed by students with QR codes leading to videos explaining the historical significance of trade in Oman alongside the students’ personal thoughts on their sailing experiences.

Students also learned about boating principles in 2020

Notable Planned Excursions: Oman Oil and Gas Exhibition Center, Dhow Boat Overnight Trip, Village visits in the Musandam Peninsula. 

Guardians of the Deep

Educators: Ibrahim Abu Atiya and Shasta Gray

Driving Question: How might we use diving to inspire marine conservation efforts in Oman?

Module Overview: Marine life is rich and diverse in the coastal areas of Oman and is becoming a great source of national pride. Through this module, students will build their awareness of marine ecosystems in a way that supports marine life sustainability. By developing skills in SCUBA diving, students will experience underwater ecosystems and collect data to enhance their understanding.

By the end of the module, participants will have developed an understanding of:

  • The science of social change
  • An understanding of Oman’s coral reefs, their stressors, and future threats
  • Oman’s potential directions for a post-oil economy

Students also participated in a scuba module during our 2018 term in Oman

Final Product: For their final product, participants in the Guardians module will build an informative website that aims to promote interest in conservation efforts in Oman.

The website should:

  • Incorporate marine habitat exploration and conclusions from pictures and data collected during transect studies
  • Describe the interconnection between humans and marine life
  • Discuss physics, chemistry, or biology concepts as they relate to scuba diving or marine studies
  • Share details of dives/reflections in a dive log

Visually, I’m On It

Educators: Terrence Ho & Saila Purho

Driving Question: How might we apply traditional Islamic art techniques to celebrate an artistic narrative on the past, present or future of Oman?

Module Overview: To truly understand Omanis and other Middle Eastern cultures, one must investigate and grasp the influence of religion and the family on all aspects of identity and life. Arguably, all humans have a drive to belong as a part of their nature, but it’s hard to find a region more rooted in family and community building than the Islamic world.

During this module, students will dive deep into Omani culture by looking at its grounding in tribalism, examining the general purposes of religion and the tenets and practices of Islam, and by experiencing the activities of Omani families. In doing so, module participants will be challenged to reflect on their own notions of the importance of belonging, group membership, religion, family, and their personal identity.

Students also learned about Omani culture during our 2018 term, including during a visit to Wahiba Sands

Alongside exploring Omani and Middle Eastern cultures, students will learn about the characteristics of graphic novels are and be introduced to some artists and their work. Throughout the term they’ll learn about the crucial components of the books; how to sketch and look at visuals with intention; and process and express their understanding of complex systems and ideas. They’ll then put what they’ve learned to use by creating their own graphic novel as a final product.

Final Product: For their final product, participants will create a graphic novel using clear, descriptive, and detailed writing that shows (illustrates) and tells (directs). Each student will interview an elder in their life and learn about their coming-of-age story, and this conversation will serve as the basis of each student’s graphic novel.

Notable Planned Excursions: The National Museum of Oman, a desert trek in the Wahiba Sands to learn about Bedouin life, Royal Opera House Muscat

Watch Class of 2019 Alum Isabella Ricotta’s Love Letter to Oman

In this short film created as part of a personal videography project, Class of 2019 student Isabelle Ricotta captures her and her classmates’ time in laid-back Oman perfectly through a combination of striking visuals and fitting sounds

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.

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.

Apply now

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