On the following academic year, we were also impressed by the will of new students to join [email protected] with more motivation and commitment. Tough they faced some difficulties, students were always ready for new learning adventures and challenges.
On February 6th, students were invited by an environmental association to share experience of using renewable energy with other schools in the district. As their school was granted a solar water heater, students were involved in assembling the device and learning how it works. They were indeed engaged in a multi-disciplinary approach as they had to describe the device, how it works and how much carbon it helps to reduce. Two days later, the students were invited by the local radio for contribution to a live radio environmental series; students talked about their project and activities to raise awareness about environmental education.
On February 22nd , we were very pleased to receive an official invitation to attend the African High Level Conference . Students were priviledged to be among African Environmental ministers and specialists, and attended speeches addressed by highly committed people such as Arnold Schwarzenegge , Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme , and Sally Fegan WylesAssistant Secretary-General of UNITAR. Students also had the opportunity to meet leaders of companies specialized in recycling and they really got inspired for their project and environmental activities.
Once back to school, [email protected] team was more motivated and started to create their own recycling bins to raise the community awareness about environmental problems.
I was more surprised to see that students went outside school to collect big boxes and transformed them into bins for juice boxes and water bottles. I was also surprised to see students talking to the head teacher in order to contact the companies and take paper to recycle. Students made calculation on the quantity of the used paper as they concluded that a high school is one of the major consumers of paper. The best surprise that overwhelmed me was to be informed by a student that she wanted to attend the YouthCaN World conference, I could not believe that a student in my class is so motivated that she wants to present the project to an international audience. So Naila worked in collaboration with her team to finish the project and gave the first presentation on the 1st anniversary of [email protected] It was amazing to see the team members sharing their experience and future plans with the school community including parents and the local authorities on the National day of knowledge.
On April 28, I was proud to see Jennifer Russell introducing [email protected] while contributing for the first time in the history of YouthCaN international club. I was moved to see the students, whom I have been teaching for two years, speaking at the opening ceremony of the world conference and mainly talking about her team mates. I often attended my students' presentations in class or at school since I started coordinating iEARN@lgeria, but it was amazing to attend the presentation in New York History Museum from home via skype.
I was even pleased to see students from Iran asking Naila directly via skype, it was such an amazing learning atmosphere.
Last but not least, the annual project presentations was more than a success, students from different schools attended, and there we witnessed more of the benefits of global collaborative projects, though they had not met since November 20013. May 6 was wonderful day since teachers were proud of their students' performance from oral presentations sharing claims and discoveries, to plays, to stories narrated, to songs written and music newly produced by youth. We were really moved to see different groups applauding to support each others after each presentation. [email protected] was even prouder to learn not just about their peers but with them.
It really happened as Duddley Evans said: "The project begins in the classroom, moves into the outside world and then back into the classroom, and provides an opportunity for real world and classroom experience to overlap. " (1998)
PS.The students ' presentation can be downloaded here.........
Reported by Kheira Mezough
Hammou Boutlelis High School