Surely everyone acknowledges the issue of global warming, but have you ever taken any action to overcome this problem? Maybe you have, but maybe not everyone has had this opportunity. And this is why the organization “Crying Ice” was established by the Grade 11 students at Dwight School Seoul in order to take action. We didn’t want to just talk about the issue, we wanted to do something meaningful to combat global warming.
We are high school juniors studying in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, and almost every member of our group comes from different countries, including Italy, Saudi Arabia, France, China and Japan. “We all have different perspectives on this issue, and that was something that we weren’t fully aware of” says Mai Takahashi, who hails from Kanagawa, Japan. As a part of our CAS (Creativity, Action and Service), we decided to run a campaign in which we collaborated with Grade 4 students to raise awareness about global warming in our school. Moreover, we really wanted to encourage students in this community to realize the importance of their individual actions, and learn that there is a big difference between understanding and actually taking action.
CAS is at the core of the International Baccalaureate Diploma, encouraging students to demonstrate engagement with different issues of global significance and to consider the ethics of choices of actions through collaboration. “CAS has been really important for improving our personal skills, particularly in terms of creating our ideas regarding our role in the community. It’s also been really important for me in terms of expanding my imagination, because we can take an idea and we can turn it into something real” says Zhuxian Min, a student from Shenyang, China. The reason we chose the topic of global warming as the main focus of our project is that we realized that it is our current generation’s responsibility to acknowledge that some of our activities are harmful to the planet and that they will eventually undermine our habitat.
In order to raise awareness on the consequences of our actions on the Earth, we decided to promote our campaign “Crying Ice” by engaging with the school community using a number of methods, including posters, videos, and presentations, which were displayed or announced to all the students in Dwight School Seoul through a number of exhibitions and on our morning announcement channel (Dwight has its own set of TV channels broadcast within the school campus).
To ensure our campaign was a success, we decided to get some more help, and so we asked the Grade 4 students to help us in our campaign by designing creative posters which would then be exhibited around the school. Since the Grade 4 students had just studied their unit of inquiry on planets and the solar system, some were able to answer the questions we raised when we came to visit them. For example, when we asked “What is global warming?” and “What can we do to help to reduce the harmful effects of global warming?”, hands shot up as they enthusiastically jumped to answer all at once. After our presentation, they worked in groups of two to four students to brainstorm ideas on what to include in their posters which could contribute to an increased awareness of global warming among students in the school. They effectively took advantage of their creativity to draw impressive posters in just one week. The Grade 4s showed us that we could enthusiastically raise awareness, with Jeremiah Oh affirming that it was “a fun experience to learn about what was going on around the world.” Although they wanted to raise awareness of global warming, they also focused on solutions, such as what we named the 4Rs: Repair, Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce. It was important to us that the 10-year-olds understood and demonstrated a deeper knowledge on this global issue, but it was more important that they were able to apply what they had learned and could convert it into meaningful action.
We were initially aware that many people know what global warming is and what we, as human beings, should do to mitigate it because global warming is such a significant global issue. Grade 4 students who we worked with knew well about global warming, as we had expected. In spite of the fact that many people in the world are aware of global warming regardless of their age, the phenomenon is not slowing down. This is because we tend to be irresponsible regarding individual actions that are actually harming the Earth. Some of the students said that too much use of private vehicles contributes to the increased emission of carbon dioxide, thus worsening global warming. Although we are familiar with the disadvantageous effects of cars, we do not stop using cars since we usually leave the solution to the other 7 billion people in the world. This tendency is human nature, but we recognized the importance of encouraging others to act now and care about our planet as well as simply raising awareness.
Additionally, doing the project with grade 4 students allowed us to realize that they have the ability to visualize what they think and want to say by using effective colours, balance and slogans much more than we do. “I also learned that when we make a poster, we don’t just put the words, but instead show the audience a picture so people will know what [the world] will look like if global warming happens”, said Daniel Cho of Grade 4.
The Grade 4s actively demonstrated their creativity, which can be taken advantage of for the promotion of other issues to attract people’s attention and encourage their actions to resolve the problem. “This interaction between Grades 4 and 11 was so fruitful that both grades were able to demonstrate their distinct advantages,” said Grade 11’s Yuna Matsuo, a member of this project. Grade 4 students drew impressive posters that have been placed on the walls in school using their creativity and energetic curiosity while we Grade 11 students promoted our project with our academic skills in writing and sharing – not only in the classroom, but also within our community.
For more information on Dwight School Seoul, visit https://www.dwight.or.kr/