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NAE-UNICEF Student Summit Blog Hero Image

Students create sustainability solutions ahead of UNICEF Summit

All Nord Anglia students are empowered to make a difference. Our transformational education offer focuses not only on ensuring academic success, but also on inspiring students to positively impact their individual communities and the world at large.

This year, students across Nord Anglia Education schools worldwide have been hard at work coming up with creative ideas to make the world a better place. As part of Nord Anglia Education’s collaboration with UNICEF, they have been raising awareness of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically through goals 11 and 12 on sustainable communities and responsible consumption practices.


Read on to learn more about what our students have been up to for this year’s Global Challenge!

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To raise awareness of the SGDs this year, students at the English International School Prague built their own City of the Future in the school. They researched and designed their futuristic city based on topics like bio fuels, vertical gardens and sustainable energy, and constructed it by creating colourful models. It even includes self-driving cars!

To tackle barriers to sustainability in society, students at the school also started their own litter squad and collected food for a local foodbank. Two students named Charlotte Wood and Elena Arkyashan, who will attend the UNICEF Student Summit next month, organised a talk for Year 6 students from a non-profit organisation called Nadeje that works with the homeless and refugees. Based on this initiative, the school will work with the Public Transport Company in Prague to display SDG-related artwork in two of Prague’s metro stations next spring!

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To ensure their work on the SDGs was a part of everyday learning at Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong, Early Years students have been actively involved in learning about food production through their own food shop. The children planted wheat, radish, lettuce, and carrot seeds, and took turns caring for the plants as they grew. The vegetables were eventually shared with family and local community. In the Primary School, students investigate growth rates by growing plants under different conditions. These plants, as seen above, were given to secondary students who then turned them into bio fuel.

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In Pudong’s Secondary School, students gave presentations on solar energy and reducing food waste. One group designed and constructed a solar phone charging station for outdoor events, while another created a digital pollution monitor that displays an accurate reading of air quality index. International Baccalaureate students also participated in a tree-planting activity, shown here, during their trip to Inner Mongolia to help halt desertification in the area.

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Based on their research about the amount of plastics being thrown into world's oceans, and the fact that their school currently uses 130,000 straws per year, Year 7 students at the British School of Beijing, Shunyi instituted a plan with their school to reduce the use of single use plastics, such as the straws that come with their yoghurt cups. After meeting with the school’s Principal, Mr. Thornhill, they have embarked on a "Die Plastic Straw" campaign with the aim to significantly reduce or even eliminate the use of plastic straws in the school.

A group of Year 9 students at the school also came up with an idea for a rooftop garden on top of the Secondary building to grow produce for the school’s kitchen. Their ambitious plan includes planting bamboo, aloe vera and succulents, which can take in more carbon dioxides from the air and thus reduce pollution.

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Shunyi students also took park in a Roots and Shoots Greenhouse project by collecting, cutting and stacking plastic bottles donated to school to build the frame of a greenhouse on the school’s field.

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Students at British Vietnamese International School, Ho Chi Minh City recognised that Vietnam is one of the most active plastic polluters in terms of throwing plastics into the ocean. To help make a difference, Primary School students designed reusable bags and handed them out in supermarkets. They also wrote their own "sustainability pledge” and promised not to drop litter and to use reusable bags and bottles.

To make Vietnam a little greener, students at British International School, Ho Chi Minh City also mapped out areas around their school with high amounts of litter and organised a mass clean-up. With the help of more than 100 teachers and students, they filled 40 large bags of rubbish in a single day.

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At the British International School of Chicago Lincoln Park, students have a roof garden with bins for growing flowers, vegetables and herbs. The garden also features a composter so that unused food won't be sent to landfills. As part of their efforts to encourage sustainability, the school recently took part in a “seed bomb” to launch seeds over the Chicago River to help encourage native plants to grow along the riverbanks.

The NAE-UNICEF Student Summit

These are just a few of the remarkable examples of activism and engagement from Nord Anglia Education students throughout the year to meet the goals of the Global Challenge.

The capstone event of this year’s work with the SDGs will take place in July, when selected student ambassadors from our schools will visit New York City for the NAE-UNICEF Student Summit. They will enjoy a week of activities centred on the goals, including workshops, presentations at the High Level Political Forum, a Model United Nations, and events at the Headquarters of the United Nations.

To learn more about the upcoming NAE-UNICEF Student Summit taking place this July in New York, click here!

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