Polytechnic Middle School, 8th Grade
Eighth grade students at Polytechnic School are participating in a project sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools called the "Challenge 20/20". Based on the book High Noon: Twenty Global Problems, Twenty Years to Solve Them by Jean-François Rischard, the project challenges students to work collaboratively with an international partner school to explore a global issue in-depth and identify solutions.
The Poly students were paired with a school in Alberta, Canada called Strathcona-Tweedsmuir and chose to address global poverty. In order to become acquainted with the issues, students brainstormed questions they had about poverty, engaged in Facing the Future activities including Take a Step for Equity, Global Issues Trivia, and Shop Till You Drop, and invited guest speakers to the classroom to share their experiences working on global poverty issues.
From there, the students broke into groups to develop solutions at both the national and local level. An example of one local solution are letters students wrote to local businesses asking them to contribute .7% of their Friday profits earned between 2-4pm to help end poverty. As the students noted, “.7% is significant because Jeffrey Sachs says that, if the nations of the world contributed .7% of their total gross national product per year, extreme poverty could be eliminated by the year 2015.” Another element of the project is that students are creating a website to publish their work and share their solutions. Visit their websites to learn more: