When your job is writing materials to engage the next generation in Practical Action’s work there is nothing more satisfying when you see that in action!
Last month I went to Jersey with my colleague Bren Hellier. Following on from a week of activities with primary pupils run by The Jersey Museum which focused on our Ditch the Dirt challenge, we delivered workshops with Jersey Overseas Aid to over 100 secondary students over three days.
The secondary students soon got to grips with our Stop the Spread challenge which highlights the global issue around the spread of infectious disease and includes activities where children design and build their own hand washing station, plus produce education materials for primary age pupils in a school in Ethiopia. They came up with all sorts of ingenious solutions and really understood the importance of the work our two organisations and others are doing to address this.
The workshops caused quite a stir on the island and we were featured on Jersey ITV news , in the local press and on the radio! We also had a visit from Carolyn Labey, Jersey’s Minister for International Development who got stuck into the activity and told the students about her role on the island.
Some of the comments from the pupils included
‘I learnt that water is a vital part of being healthy’
‘I really enjoyed developing problem-solving skills…using what I had learnt in science in a real like situation and learning about Ethiopia and the UN global goals’
‘I like doing this because it get everyone involved and makes sure everyone’s voice is heard’
‘I had heard of JOA and what they did but didn’t realise it was on such a bit scale’
The materials pupils were using during the two weeks had been adapted for Jersey and included reference to Jersey’s own issues with the spread of cholera in the past. These materials can be found at www. joa.je/schools
We’re running a competition open to all pupils in Jersey. They are asked to send in a short video showing how they have worked in the challenge, including a demonstration of their model in action. Entries will be judged by JOA and Practical Action and the deadline is 11 March 2019. If what I saw was anything to go by the quality will fantastic. More details here.
Following a meeting with the Jersey Government’s Head of Curriculum we’re hopeful that it won’t be long before many teachers in Jersey will be using our materials in their own teaching, embedding them in their schools’ curriculum.