Students design solutions for global education...Project 72 million

Project Published 8/9/11 Last updated on 5/16/18
The problem: At least 72 million children are not in school now due to rising levels of poverty, unemployment and discrimination (i.e. gender, ethnicity, language and disability). Approximately 1.9 million new teaching posts will be required to meet universal primary education by 2015. In 2015 there will be 56 million children out of school if no action is taken to reach the marginalized. The Solution: Students will research and assess lower-developed countries and high-conflict countries to design a K-12 school or school program that could result in universal education in that country. In groups of 4, students will use the Adobe Creative Suite to create a business plan and an architectural sketch that they will present to industry professionals. Students' abilities to empathize, problem-solve, plan, implement, design and create will be honed as they study a culture and propose a solution to their educational challenges.

Student reflection on the project:

"During Project 72 Million, I was able to use innovation when writing my business plan, and took ownership when collaborating in a group with my peers to create a school in Mauritania. When reading Three Cups of Tea,mindfulness helped me become aware of the situations in third world countries; and the perspective of my own opportunities have changed since reading the book and desinging this school. During the planning of our school in Mauritania, ownership was used in our group’s collaboration of the preparation and presentation of our project. I remember how surprised I was when I realized how responsible Greg and Luke were taking the project. Each of us worked so hard and each contributed equally to the project that I barely had to manage my group’s work and speed. Although we had only practiced once, I felt like our group really tried their best when presenting and took our school project very seriously. Although we still needed to practice we were very prepared and tried our hardest to perform. Together our hard work helped us understand and complete our efforts for building a school and helping others displayed true ownership.

When reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, my perspective was influenced by the issues the book dealt with and mindfulness was introduced into the reasons behind many of these issues and why my awareness matters. “The Greg Mortenson Scandal: One University's Bitter Cup of Tea- Time Magazine’s recent article”. Although there were many controversies over the book’s validity, the book still drew some reasonable points. These issues were over education, poverty, terrorism, and love; Three Cups of Tea taught me valuable life lessons whether or not the book was a fraud. “‘If we try to resolve terrorism with military might and nothing else, then we will be no safer than we were before 9/11. If we truly want a legacy of peace for our children, we need to understand that this is a war that will ultimately be won with books, not with bombs.’ Greg Mortenson.” These ideas of inspiration made me become aware of many of the devastating world issues that take place each and every day. It has inspired me to take charge and believe in my abilities, and has helped jumpstart my life into action." -9th grade student

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5 / 5 • 9 Ratings

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Comments (5)

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David Badgley

Posted on 5/3/15 12:37:36 PM Permalink

Building on the idea that creativity and a sense of purpose to design here is a link to a practical side of not being able to go to school-

A great design problem and resourceful solution.

Sandra Hodges

Posted on 2/22/15 2:25:05 AM Permalink

I really like this idea, but I don't think it will work with the majority of my middle school students. It really sounds fantastic for high school.

uma ravi

Posted on 7/16/14 6:46:59 AM Permalink

The project is good with the real thought for the under prevelidged.I wish that it really works with present daay scenario.

Lourdes Fuller

Posted on 7/14/14 12:12:34 AM Permalink

I like the goal of this project but I question if we are not using these disadvantage children to practice what we think is best for them. A lot of damage can be caused by well intention people.

Robert Harrell

Posted on 8/22/11 8:48:54 PM Permalink

This looks like a great project, but I wonder about a couple of statistics in your introduction.

-Currently there are 72 million children out of school

-In 2015 there will be 56 million children out of school if nothing is done

It looks like the problem is correcting itself, albeit slowly. Were the numbers reversed? Was there a typo?