On Monday, 24th of June, five students from our TASIS Wildlife Club accompanied teacher, Ms. Gediman, to the first ever Design for Change UK Conference. We were one of 13 schools that got together for the day at Ashley Primary School in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.
The purpose of the day was to introduce children to the program, and learn about how they can be a positive change. Design for Change is a program where children are challenged to change something that they see needs to be changed for the positive. This can be anything, as long as it makes things better. And, it is the children themselves who design and implement the change, not the adults.
At our school, we have already begun to investigate Design for Change, and a group of children at our school recently worked on a campaign to rid our school of polystyrene use in the lunch room. This was a success!! The Wildlife Club has been working on projects that the children themselves are designing. We will be doing many new projects for positive change in the new school year.
The day included children breaking up into groups and taking part in workshops. After all of the children talked about making changes in their workshops, they all shared their ideas with the other schools. This was very inspiring!!
There were also visits from some inspirational adults, including Mr. Candle, who is an award-winning acrobatics artist who encourages people to live their dream. Joost and Michiel came along to share their Cycle for Water Project that included them cycling from the Arctic to the Antarctic on bamboo framed bicycles! It was fascinating, and inspiring to hear how they cycled for 605 days, bringing awareness along the way about the global water crisis. The crisis is that around one billion people on our planet do not have access to clean drinking water. Besides bringing about awareness of a problem that we can all help to change, the ride on bamboo bicycles proved that change can be made using sustainable means!
The Wildlife Club members left the day feeling truly inspired. We all learned more about saying “I Can” and thinking about how we can take action and make positive changes at our own school.