With a central focus on “be the change you want to see in the world,” fifth-graders at Beecher Hills Elementary School recently participated in their school’s International Baccalaureate World School 2018 Student Exhibition.
During the exhibition on Dec. 14, students displayed projects that demonstrated their higher levels of learning, as well as academic ownership.
A culminating activity for fifth graders in the Primary Years Program (PYP), the IB exhibition consists of students selecting, researching and presenting topics of their choice. Students generate questions, research, plan an action based on their learning, and then present it before their teachers and parents.
This year’s theme was “Sharing the Planet,” which focused on the rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationships; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
For their efforts, students presented on the following global topics: second amendment and conflict resolution; scarcity of clean water; homelessness to success; boundaries within technology; depression in students; poaching animals; kidnapping; political differences; child protection; and childhood diseases.
According to Tiffany Harvey, IB coordinator, students usually spend six or more weeks researching and completing their projects before presenting and sharing it with the community. She said the exhibition allows students to use all of the essential elements associated with the IB PYP curriculum.
“Exhibition is a time when students truly are responsible for their own learning,” Harvey said. “Students are responsible for participating in a student-chosen creative expression that they use to showcase their learning. They also determine how they want to show what they know. This allows students to gain independence in their learning. Throughout the process, students receive ongoing feedback from various people, which is meant to assist them in being successful.”
For students like Cameron Stephens, 11, learning about the scarcity of clean water helped him focus on making the world a better place. As part of their project, Cameron and his classmates are donating water to assist with the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
So far, they’ve collected seven cases of water and are hoping for more.
“This project taught us that you should appreciate having clean water, because there are a lot of people who don’t have it,” Cameron said.