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Sustainability or innovation? Both!

School News September 28, 2022
Sustainability or innovation? Both!

Boosting students’ creative thinking and enhancing their life skills have always been within the top priority list in WAS Changzhou. Last semester, with a huge commitment, we implemented hands-on projects for Grades 4, 5 and 6 which were meant to prepare them for a new, exciting subject that would enter their curriculum in the school year 2022-2023: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics).

Grades 4 and 5 had the brilliant chance of enhancing their horizons about sustainability. Their project aimed at creating flower/plant pots out of waste! First, they learned about the 3Rs in recycling and how we could give wasted things a second life. The students had brainstorming, then came up with creative ideas and started their projects with sketching the pots. The most important part was the use of recycled materials which they could find around them. It could be an old towel, a pair of jeans or even a plastic bottle. The main goal was to produce a pot that would look so good that no one could guess what it was made of!

It was truly fascinating how useless waste could turn into good-looking and super useful flowerpots in the hands of our students. During the project, the students opened new doors to thinking “out of box”, as well as they learned to present their products, meanwhile improving their public speaking skills. With this project, our students also mastered their gardening skills and reinforced their sense of responsibility towards the protection of our environment.

Grade 6 students had a more challenging and advanced project which required more of engineering and mathematical skills. Working in groups, their goal was to design and create a product that would be innovative and somehow contribute to our school’s community. After being produced, it had to be branded and have its packaging, if needed. Not only did our students come up with fantastic ideas, but they also brought them to life! They impressed us with their excellent presentations of highly useful products, such as a self-charging phone case, self-sustaining mini fridge, in-school catering website, innovative bookshelf, etc. But would this be enough to complete the project? Of course, not! Each group had to do the pitching of their product, trying to convince their audience of its high importance and that they would definitely need it in their daily life.

Our students did a truly fantastic job, and, most importantly, they showed great interest in acquiring hands-on skills and applying them in life with the purpose of creating something totally new to the World.

After all the projects grade 4,5 and 6 students had a self-evaluation, trying to find out what could be improved or worked on more, as well as they presented their creations to their classmates, sharing the experiences and coming up with new solutions.

What a great foundation for STEAM! We are so proud of our students and are looking forward to witnessing new creative projects turning WAS Changzhou into an innovation hub to nurture ideas within Changzhou and beyond.