Sustainability has received considerable media coverage over the past few years, particularly through a growing number of initiatives led by Generation Z. Greta Thunberg naturally comes to mind when students around the world are increasingly founding associations and leading change for a better future, like Students Organising for Sustainability in the UK. World Environment Day is a great opportunity to celebrate educators fostering student initiative to promote sustainability.
The international school community has proactively inspired students to care about their local and global environment and learn to act in a sustainable way. A few international schools, like Green School Bali, paved the way over 10 years ago when they announced their commitment “to create a global community of learners, making our world sustainable”. More schools have since made the subject matter a core part of their mission, like Fairgreen International School in Dubai, established in 2018 by Esol Education.
But does sustainability need to be built into a school curriculum or ethos to inspire students? Carina Nilsson shared best practice from Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket (SSHL) in the April issue of the International School Leader magazine, where students took part in an extra-curricular Design and Technology Group to build an autonomous seed drone to be used to reseed deforested areas of Nigeria. Motivated to help limit the spread of the pandemic, students also developed a patent-applied disinfection tunnel to place over checkout lines in the local grocery store.