Students in Taiwan Take Action on SDGs through iEARN Environmental Projects
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are highly recognized in Taiwan’s educational system. As such, in 2021, iEARN-Taiwan was pleased to partner with the Bureau of Education (BOE) of Changhua County to offer an “iEARN SDGs School Program” to educators from 5 schools in the county: ChungShan Elementary School, Da-yuang Elementary School, Ma-tsuo Elementary School, Fu Chao Elementary School and Nan-jen Elementary School.
The program began with a Professional Development workshop for educators, where they learned the what, why and how of iEARN projects. They learned how they could help their students to explore and deepen their understanding of environmental issues, as well as their responsibility as global citizens for the sustainable development of the earth.
Then, each school developed their own project activities to integrate into their school curriculum design and implementation. Although each school adopted different projects, including “Gomi on Earth;” “Don’t Waste, Create;” and “Water is Life;” they unanimously reported students’ growth in their knowledge, skills and positive attitudes towards the SDGs and environmental issues. Moreover, students greatly enjoyed learning with their global partners.
Take Ma-tsuo Elementary School for example. They joined the "Gomi on Earth" project. Students were inspired by teachers to take actions to help build an environment-friendly school. They focused on the driving question of how to live in a 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) life from their perspectives. With teachers’ guidance, students came up with many ideas and put them into practice in their school life and family life, such as bringing their shopping bags instead of plastic ones, or riding a bike or walking to school instead of having their parents drive them to school.
On seasonal holidays, they learned to use natural materials (such as tree leaves and twigs) to create their own organic wreaths to decorate the campus rather than buying ready-made materials; they learned to use food waste or nature waste, like eggshells or dried leaves, as fertilizers. With their teachers' help, more students in school now know how to protect the environment and to have fun exploring how to make less waste and create a more practical and environmental-friendly lifestyle. More creative learning activities can be seen in this video showcasing the students’ impressive work.
In the gathering of the iEARN SDGs School Program on December 14th, all the participating educators recognized how joining in iEARN projects helped empower their students, not just as local action takers for a better earth, but also as global citizens with a growth-mindset to “learn with the world, not just about it.”