Here’s a Salt Lake Tribune article about a middle school student, Stephen Jarman, from the Canyons [Utah] School District who is raising awareness about the lack of accessible and safe drinking water for many people in the world – in this particular case, in Kenya. He and his family have gotten several schools involved in an effort – Water Walk Utah 2010 – to raise funds to build a well for a village in Kenya.
This is a great example of the kind of authentic learning that should be taking place in schools in the U.S. everyday. Kudos to Stephen – for being willing to act – and to his family and school for encouraging involvement and getting others to participate. A project like this can teach students many things (and probably their teachers, too). From gathering and analyzing information, to organizing an event and people, to designing websites and creating videos to raise awareness, this project no doubt meets a lot of learning standards in a lot of subjects. Check out his Water Walk Utah 2010 videos here
More U.S. schools should take a lesson from this student and work to engage all kids in authentic projects like this as a regular part of school. It will benefit not only those villagers in Kenya, but the kids in the U.S. who are learning about life, caring, acting, being a part of a global community.
What has your school done to engage kids in authentic projects that make a difference?