A Meaningful Week of SDG Exploration
The Kindergarten children are spending the SDG week delving into 6 different SDGs and thinking about how they can make a difference.
Focusing on SDG 13 - Climate Action, students discussed the arctic polar bears and how the ice is melting, and their homes are becoming ruined, due to global warming. They then thought about what differences they can make at home?
The students then looked at what happens to the animals and plants under the sea when the salt level changes (SDG 14 - Life below Water)? What happens to the pollution and oils that have spilled into the oceans? What can they do to help?
A group of Kindergartners explored SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. They made paper doves and wrote messages of peace and kindness on them.
The group also talked about SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being and the things they need to keep their bodies and minds healthy. After the discussion, students went on and did a Thich Nhat Hanh Pebble Meditation while learning about mindfulness.
Using the lens of deforestation and impact on animal life through loss of habitat, Kindergarten students who looked at SDG 15 - Life on Land, developed empathy for the welfare of Earth's forests and the animals that depend on them for their survival.
Finally, the group learnt about SDG 12 - Responsible Production and Consumption. They discovered what happened with waste around the world, what they could do at home and in the community to minimize waste, what can be recycled at home and how people sort their trash?
SDG Design in Elementary School Art Class
UNIS Hanoi Upper ES students went into design mode in their art classes during SDG Week.
Grade 2 used recycled paper to create animal collage artworks.
Grade 3 chose a biome and created artwork about it in a range of media of their choice. They then revisited, reviewed, reflected and refined the artwork to show the human impact on the environment and also created an SDG book or poster to share a message.
Grade 4 inquired into the principles of design in the SDG icons. They then created new logo designs of their own to match an SDG.
Climate Action Adventure in Grade 4 Classrooms
Grade 4 conducted a "choose your own adventure" community zoom this week. Teachers chose an SDG that was important to them, students chose which one they wanted to learn more about and joined a breakout room. Different activities took place in each room ranging from posters to encourage Climate Action, using old materials or things that would've been thrown away to create learning resources (including dice made out of old toilet rolls!), a work-out to think about our health and well-being, a carbon footprint test and wondering about how often we use the toilet!
One Green UN Day!
To celebrate Global UN Day and in preparation for the world focus on Climate Action at COP26, our community spent the weekend engaging in environmental activities.
Starting on Friday afternoon seven High School students represented UNIS Hanoi at the national launch by UNDP of their Youth4Climate Climate Learning Hub. Our students were part of the premier group working with UNDP to give early reaction and feedback to the bi-lingual site ahead of its launch. They also attended the official launch event with hundreds of other young climate activists to hear from the authors of the
The Learning Hub is one of Vietnam’s key COP26 initiatives, focusing on education for youth as a catalyst for action. (Read more from the students)
Also, over the UN Day weekend, more than 50 UNIS Hanoi families and community members took up the call to action attending a series of workshops and by getting out and cleaning up our city!
Thanks to our long standing partnership with Keep Hanoi Clean, parents, students and staff took our Pair Up & Clean Up challenge, joining forces picking up trash in locations of their choice.
GPS Students Launch “Fridays for Future” to talk Climate Action
With the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change recently in the news as a result of upcoming COP26 in Glasgow, Global Politics students have decided to use their Friday classes to focus on issues related to climate change.
According to GPSer Hoyeon Yoon, this issue is important “…due to the actions of developed countries, developing countries and their environments are put in a vulnerable place. Developing countries are the least adaptable to the physical effects of climate change, which may lead to instability and internal conflict.”
While climate change is the preeminent threat to our generation and future generations, we felt that what we needed was to better understand what is at stake regarding the interests and impacts of some of the efforts to combat climate change. As Carmen Cortizas put it, “…there is so much information surrounding climate change so I think we should further explore climate change through a local lens and focus on specific topics that may not directly affect us, yet affect those around us who are stuck in given circumstances.By gathering evidence and first hand perspectives of those affected by climate change, it is easier to make a case for it in Vietnam.”
Our GPS core units and concepts such as globalisation, sustainability, security and equality as well as “Environment” as a category of focus for our internal assessment, give us the opportunity to explore the impacts of climate change in Vietnam & beyond.
GPS students will curate our “Fridays for Future”, bringing in resources, topics & even guest speakers to better inform us of what we need to know. According to GPSer Arnav Mathur, “I think something I would be interested in would be discussing and seeing all the ramifications climate change has locally as in the news we only ever hear about major global events. I also think the general lack of information on climate change can be improved upon through talking more about it.”
Launching a National Climate Learning Hub!
On the eve of Global UN Day, seven High School students represented UNIS Hanoi at the national launch by UNDP of their Youth4Climate Climate Change Learning Hub.
Our students were part of a group working with UNDP to give early reaction and feedback to the bi-lingual site ahead of its launch. They joined the official launch event with hundreds of other young climate activists to hear from the youth authors of the report being sent from Vietnam for COP26.
The Climate Action Learning Hub has been designed for young people by young people and will be curated ongoing by a team of expert youth activists to ensure the quality of the content (available in English and Vietnamese).
Read more from two of our students below. Our thanks to the dedicated team:
- Hee Su Park G12
- Young Geun (Andy) Choi G10
- Harsh Shrivastav G11
- Ellie Cheng G9
- Ha Eun (Avery) Kim G12
- Minseo Kang G9
- Se In Lee G9
"The learning hub was a great experience to learn and know more about the big plans and the next steps of climate action. It also provided valuable information and lead me to think from various perspectives either than just the environmental aspect of climate change. This made me more aware of how this climate crisis is a farther complex issue and again reminded me of the importance of taking action now. The learning hub didn’t answer all my inquiries, although, but it definitely did help me to be more aware of what is going on around me and what it is to happen." (Se In Lee, Grade 9)
"The UNDP launched a conference last Friday introducing their goals towards climate change and the purpose of the Youth4Climate event. With over 600 youth attendees, it has been a success. This opportunity was significant because it allowed me to play a role in the improvement of global warming, so it was the perfect opportunity captured when undertaking climate actions. From this experience, I realized that the ignorance of the science behind climate change has led to the lack of quality solutions contrary to global warming. Therefore, the Youth4Climate learning hub, an interactive online platform built by Vietnamese youth with the support of UNDP Vietnam, has been launched. It is a reliable source of studies and scientific reports on global warming topics such as climate science, ecosystems, energy, materials, waste, and climate policy. Through consistent efforts and enhanced collaboration with the government, UN agencies, development partners, private sector, the Youth4Climate initiative aims to strengthen the social network and raise environmental awareness of the youth. With aspirations to empower us to become the agents of change regarding the climate pledges from the NDC of Vietnam, they also hope to advance climate actions at national and international forums. I ought to introduce this practical portal to the UNIS community, and I wish to expand the capacity of the knowledge of youth about climate change through this multi-dimensional knowledge exchange channel." (Ellie Cheng, Grade 9)
G5 Students Experience Climate Change, Children's Rights and Equality Protest!
How are decisions made? What decisions do you get to make? How are decisions made in your classroom?
These were some of the questions that Grade 5 students grappled with this week as they commenced their new How We Organise Ourselves Unit of Inquiry into Governance. This was followed by a fully immersive, week-long provocation, where students experienced four governmental systems; Monarchy, Anarchy, Dictatorship and Democracy, with opportunities to reflect on their experiences. On the last day of the week, with their freshly found voice and power as citizens of a Democracy state, students set about re-establishing classroom practices, this time relying on the democratic process of voting to ensure a true representation of the people.
Recognising that their combined voices could also be used to wield power, students set about identifying issues they felt passionately about before designing colourful placards and taking to the corridors of UNIS Hanoi to let their voices ring loud across campus.
Members of the UNIS community gathered to watch this spontaneous protest on issues ranging from Climate Change, to Children’s Rights and Equality with some even joining the chorus.
Watch the video here.
Reduce Single Use Plastic With Refill O'day
Refill O’day is a student initiative that aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated by our community. With the support of the UNIS Impact Fund, the student group provides a service where community members can refill household items, using their home brought reused containers. The students buy the soap in large containers and quantities that they will make sure to get recycled. This is cheaper, saves plastic as well as minimizes pollution from transportation.
Starting from Monday, December 7, 2020 anyone in the UNIS Hanoi community can bring their used containers to refill their hand soap. There are two stations at the front and back gate of the school. The cost of 100ml of Life Buoy is 10,000 VND. All money collected will be used for continuing the refill cycle. Every time you choose to refill, that is one bottle you are saving from polluting our planet.
limate Action in Math Class
As a final exploration into the Global Context "Globalization and Sustainability", students in Grade 8 mathematics created posters that used different representations of number including scientific notation, percentage, and fraction to address a SDG.
Here's how SDG13 is presented:
Community out in Force on Saturday of Service
The UNIS Hanoi community was out in force last Saturday (Global UN Day), participating in a range of Saturday of Service activities. Over 130 people joined our huge clean up effort in partnership with Keep Hanoi Clean and many others turned up to hear from our students about the work they do for others.
G5 Students Experience Four Governance Structures in a Week!
How are decisions made? What decisions do you get to make? How are decisions made in your classroom?
These were some of the questions that Grade 5 students grappled with the week as they commenced their new How We Organise Ourselves Unit of Inquiry into Governance. This was followed by a fully immersive, week-long provocation, where students experienced four governmental systems; Monarchy, Anarchy, Dictatorship and Democracy, with opportunities to reflect on their experiences at the end of each day.
On Monday morning, students were presented with a delicious slice of Galette de Roi, not knowing that inside one piece lay a small ceramic trinket capable of elevating one to regal status. From their divinely granted thrones, our new leaders held absolute power over all decisions made within their infant kingdoms. Some decided to be fair and gracious rulers, listening to the wishes of their citizens, while others grabbed power with an iron fist, granting riches to some and doling out punishments to others. By the end of the day, our Monarchs had experienced the highs and lows of regal power, as those around them sought to influence their decision making. In attempting to keep everyone happy, our Monarchs soon realised that the loyalty of their citizens could be fickle as some that seemed closest to them were, in fact, guilty of plotting their downfall. By Tuesday morning, our Monarchies had crumbled as abdications and poisoning claimed their first victims.
Students arrived at school on Tuesday morning to darkened classrooms and no leadership. Anarchy had replaced our hapless sovereigns as student citizens soon realised that no-one was going to give them direction or make decisions. Cries of ‘freedom’ echoed along the halls of Grade 5 as students rushed to enjoy their new-found liberty. Some citizens, still clinging to the memories of their schedule, found their way to specialist classes, while others navigated their unstructured time as chaos began to encroach. In some classes, electricity was not working as those normally responsible had not paid the bills, meaning students could not seek refuge in their normally air-conditioned classrooms. ‘You can have too much of a good thing’ seemed an apt slogan of the day as what had initially seemed like a golden-ticket of emancipation soon began to sour as boredom, confusion and disorder set in. Into this unhappy mix, our crafty teachers sought to regain control by gifting the masses with distractions, while surreptitiously having them sign a document that unwittingly rescinded all their rights to the opportunistic Supreme Leaders.
‘Find your place Comrade’ was the barked order that greeted students as they took their places in silence at uniformly organised desks early on Wednesday morning. Our four leaders strutted with narcissistic pride, forcing their citizens to worship them as all-powerful deities while reassuring them that all decisions would be made for the good of them and the nation. Punishments were dispensed haphazardly and for the most minor of indiscretions, yet work was not hindered and, from the ashes of anarchy, a new industrial learning arose. Provided that they did not question their Supreme Leaders, student citizens could rely on order being restored with ‘education’ resuming. However, below the surface rumbled waves of dissent as citizens soon realised the reality of their servile existence and theft of their identities. Following a shortly fought uprising, a new democratic dawn rose for the citizens of Grade 5.
With their freshly found voice and power as citizens of a newly born, egalitarian state, students set about re-establishing classroom practices, this time relying on the democratic process of voting to ensure a true representation of the people. Recognising that their combined voices could also be used to wield power, students set about identifying issues they felt passionately about before designing colourful placards and taking to the corridors of UNIS Hanoi to let their voices ring loud across campus. Members of the UNIS community gathered to watch this spontaneous protest on issues ranging from Climate Change, children’s rights and Gender Equality to animal welfare and Black Lives Matter with some even joining the chorus.
As each new system rose and fell throughout the week, students engaged in reflective conversations, empathising with real World examples, questioning the pros and cons of each governmental structure and considering implications for their own class, family and community. As night fell on Thursday evening, it did so with a new promise of classroom governments establishing themselves across 5th Grade. Our hope now is that students will use their experiences and newly acquired knowledge to design fairer, more efficient classroom systems where all voices are heard and where all are free to take responsibility for making decisions that will affect their learning every day.