“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~Nelson Mandela I recently had the opportunity to ask Renée Mindek, Dean of Innovation at Laurel Spring School (LSS) about an upcoming 11-day student trip focused around sustainability, specifically, the UN Sustainability Goals (SDGs). The UN Sustainability Goals, or Global Goals, are a set of 17 interconnected objectives created as a map for achieving a more sustainable future for all. These goals, established in 2015 by the UN General Assembly, are meant to be achieved by 2030. These urgent calls to action by both developed and developing nations, are a global effort.
Mindek tells me that the LSS students will be introduced to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during a workshop at the United Nations. During their trip, “students will discover, explore, and reflect,” she says, on specific goals while visiting several different locations and getting involved in various activities. Activities include: -Visiting the World Health Organization (WHO) and Red Cross Headquarters to learn about healthy living and promoting the well-being of all, at all ages -Going to a local Swiss school to meet local students and learn about quality education for all -Visiting CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, to learn about building resilient infrastructure and inclusive and sustainable industry, while promoting innovation. -Enjoying tours of cheese and chocolate factories to learn about Switzerland’s tourism and how it promotes sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, for all. -Visiting Anne Frank’s home, a concentrations camp, and the International Court of Justice to reenforce the need for peace, justice, and strong institutions. They will also be completing a section of the Peace Walk, which in its entirety is 550km, almost 342 miles, that spans six countries. Mindek says the trip has been uniquely designed for LSS students, “to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, collaboration, and communication skills.” Furthermore, it will, “build positive relationships amongst our student travelers, connect experiences to their academic subjects, and help them develop a deeper understanding of themselves as well as empathy and respect for others.” While students participating in this trip will receive credit toward graduation, students not attending will also benefit. LSS plans to share with all students how their school community can learn from these UN Sustainability Goals. __________ Laurel Springs School is an online K-12 school providing students, for more than 30 years, an education that is often not met by traditional brick-and-mortar schools. LSS also provides students with schedule flexibility, quality curriculum, and many social opportunities, both in-person and online. LSS boasts a student roster from all over the world. In 2021 Newsweek ranked them as one of the best online private schools in America. For more information about Laurel Springs School, please visit laurelsprings.com.