The Start Local Go Global Project researched the underlying factors and the impact of poverty in their community and around the world. They worked to create donation bags with supplies that community members most needed while also connecting the work of the community garden with their local food bank.
"A diverse team working together towards a common purpose can accomplish much."
- Student Reflection
Investigating the UN Sustainable Development Goals
In the FEEL stage, students researched and discussed the UN Sustainable Development Goals through document-based inquiry, article investigation, documentary viewing and Socratic Seminar. Students then shared their reactions to the impact of each and voted to identify the goal(s) that most aligned to their passion – Life on Land and Life Below Water. They were most compelled by the impact of plastics on animals and their habitats. In order to further develop empathy and understanding about the local impact, students conducted specific research of the causes and effects of pollution, interviewed community members and connected to the work of local organizations such as Rotaract. Students also analyzed photos, watched documentaries and short videos, attended local environmental events and researched the work of Greta Thuneburg. They also met with their school's kitchen manager, lunch aides, Lake Pend Oreille School District Maintenance Director, the school district's Director of Child Nutrition and a local organization dedicated to environmental work. As students continued to work side-by-side with others on the issue of plastics and its impact in their local community, they consistently went back through the FEEL stage to analyze the impact of their potential solutions. Students said, "Some of us even used FIDS outside of school when there was conflict, we would automatically start in the Feel stage."
Engaging in Ongoing Brainstorming
Students participated in Rapid Brainstorming in which they individually brainstormed possible solutions and documented them on sticky notes, looked for themes and categorized their ideas, and made connections. Throughout the year, they would research and ideate additional solutions, revisiting the Rapid Brainstorming wall. They then engaged in discussions and as a group, students analyzed the various ideas and sought feedback and voted. Based on their passion, the impact and the feasibility of ideas, they decided to 1) make edible water bottles, 2) create an education campaign and 3) start a recycling program at their school.
Focusing on Education
First, during the DO stage, students began by researching, prototyping, seeking feedback, re-designing their edible water bottles. After many attempts, they decided that the product would not lead towards the impact they wanted to make. Students reflected, “We failed, but did not give up and learned that failing is learning.” As a result, they shifted their focus on their education campaign and their recycling program because they knew that the collective action of the students at their school could reduce plastics more than creating the edible water bottles. As a part of these efforts, students created an educational game for their school, planned and executed a whole-school assembly, wrote a song, set up and managed the recycling process during lunch, engaged in Twitter challenges, created a skit and a TED Talk that they performed at a community festival and created educational materials about plastics and alternatives for their peers and broader community. They also made videos for the Design for Change Global Children’s Summit and for the no.more.plastics.challenge.
Sharing through Local News Sources
To reflect and share and expand their work, students presented on local radio stations and shared in local newspapers. Students presented to their peers, teachers, families, community members, Rotary and Rotaract and PAFE at a school assembly and a community Design for Change Share Night. They also presented directly to their local school board.