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Sustainable Solutions: PBL on Environment + Poverty among Rural Guatemala + NY Inner-City + Hawaiian Schools

Sustainable Solutions: PBL on Environment + Poverty among Rural Guatemala + NY Inner-City + Hawaiian Schools

Your Name and Title: Frederic Bernal Lim, MSc-Edu; Learning Specialist/ESL

School, Library, or Organization Name: St HOPE Leadership Academy (New York)

Co-Presenter Name(s): Lacresha Berry (5th grade Social Studies, Science; Sustainability Coordinator)

Country from Which You Will Present: United States

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience (such as primary school teachers, high school administrators, students, etc.): Middle School teachers and administrators

Short Session Description (one line): Sustainable Solutions: PBL on Environment + Poverty among Rural Guatemala + NY Inner-City + Hawaiian Schools

Full Session Description (one paragraph minimum):

    We are featuring a school-wide, Project Based Learning model on Environment + Poverty to connect middle-school educators and classrooms in three geographically different locations to promote Global awareness and Sustainability. Our goal is to learn from each other’s environments and offer real-world solutions to the problems from data we will share. We are based in Harlem, New York. The other educators and classrooms are in rural communities in Quiche, Guatemala and Hilo, Hawaii.

A recent directive from the mayor of New York City to the Department of Education called the “Sustainability Initiative” provides an excellent jumping point for this PBL. The initiative encourages schools to save Energy, Recycle, follow a Green Curriculum, and focus on Ecology.  Providing a foundation for academic rigor is a curriculum guide from “Kids Can Make a Difference” called Finding Solutions to Hunger. The Teachers Guide has been used successfully in other schools, so we hope to use it to propel our projects since it covers the Environment and an aspect of Poverty that requires solutions: Hunger.

Global Awareness is one of the key outcomes that we would like to feature in our session. We would like that our students focus on

  • New York Inner-City problems of diverse population, density issues, and lack of obvious growing space for edible vegetables and herbs.... as well as the unique problems that beset the rural community of Quiche, Guatemala and the Big Island of Hawaii.
  • The class of middle-school students in Guatemala is fostered by a small group of indigenous women who are known as the village healers. They provide extracurricular classes for the Mayan students who go to Guatemalan public middle schools. The women teach them Mayan culture and traditions as part of healing the collective psyche brought on by 36 years of civil conflict and genocide that eradicated 80% of the indigenous Mayan population. They hope to teach self-sufficiency and sustainability through ecology project such as farming.
  • And in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we feature students whose schools are part of an effort to study ecology issues that relate to the special environment inherent to the big, volcanic island they call home. Idyllic as Hawaii sounds, there are environmental and social problems resulting from rising population density and rising cost of living.
  • Three very different places, but with very similar problems!

We would like to show Global Competency in our PBL such that student will investigate the world via penpals in the other two locations. Students glean information from asking intelligent questions from their peers. We share information demographics, culture, and food growing on common websites to get more information. Perspectives and ideas from this exchange are then weighed and reflected upon.  As students begin to see themselves as agents of change, action can then be taken in the form of plans that are generated and crafted in-class and applied out of the classroom. Educators apply and guide students with disciplinary and interdisciplinary expertise (Math, Science, Social Studies, ELA, ESL).

Inspired action will hopefully solve some local real-world problems as students visit local experts and, again, share information globally as the weeks progress. For example, experts in acuaculture farms, projects in window farming, soup kitchens, hospitals, greenhouses, forestry, horticulture--can all be asked to talk and help locally and virtually. By mid-spring 2013, we would like to see community gardens sprout the first of many edible and salable vegetables and herbs on St HOPE’s rooftop garden in the middle of Harlem; in the community growing farm in Quiche, Guatemala, as well as perhaps a wall garden in Hilo, Hawaii.

These are the challenges and motivating factors that can help 3 communities at once examine and challenge themselves.  Impetus is given to tackle their environmental and hunger problems from impoverished conditions with sustainable solutions as they become active citizens of the world.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:
More to be added.

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iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit 2012 Session Acceptance

Thank you so much for your session proposal for the 2012 iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit!  We're please to let you know that your submission has been accepted! Your proposal is now in the "iEARN accepted proposals" list on the website. Here are some important tasks for you.

1.  Because we have sessions being presented from all different time zones, as a speaker you actually schedule your own session time at http://iearn.youcanbook.me. This allows you to see the available slots and to pick something that works within your time zone, work schedule, or other constraints. We're quite proud of how this works, as it is one of the benefits of a virtual conference, but if you should fun into any difficulties finding a time that works for you, email me directly (dmidness@us.iearn.org).

We encourage you to do this quickly, as proposals are being reviewed in the order in which they were submitted, so your priority for selecting a session time depends on you scheduling right away. When you do select you time, be sure that the scheduling system has the correct time zone for you!
To schedule your session, you should open http://www.globaleducationconference.comto your presentation proposal (you can do a search on your name to find it, or click on "My Page" in the top menu and then click on the "discussion" link on the left side to find it). Open the session booking link from above in another tab. You will find it easiest to copy the information from one to the other rather than re-type it.  Once completed, you will receive an email confirmation of your booking.

2. As a presenter, you need to make sure you are a member of the iEARN conference "presenters group" on the network website. Most of our announcements to speakers will be sent to the members of this group, so as not to email all site members. Join the group (or check to make sure you're already a member) athttp://www.globaleducationconference.com/group/iearn-2012-conferenc....

3. Presenters are responsible for knowing how to use Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate).  We will have a cadre of volunteers on hand during the conference to help with any issues, but you need to go through the moderator training for Collaborate if you are not a seasoned user. There will be a variety of training resources at the GEC Collaborate website, and we email the speakers group in some weeks alerting you to actual live training sessions.

Again, we are so delighted to have you participating in the 2012 iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit.  Thank you!

iEARN Conference Planning Committee


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