Friday, September 14, 2007

Big Hairy Audacious Goal

This year's middle school challenge to solve global warming seems like a pretty big undertaking!

Last year sixth and seventh grade's Challenge 20/20 involved a partner school in Kenya. Students collaborated on solving world poverty. Together they created a website to raise awareness. They made micro loans to start-up African businesses and collected eyeglasses. They helped organize an Empty Bowls event.

They researched roots and issues of poverty, child labor, malnutrition, homelessness, and under-education. Their two to four page essays explained their findings.

I attended a workshop this summer by Mary Fowler, an author and expert on student motivation and performance. She stressed that infusing substance and relevance into education is crucial for learning. She says that problem-solving, decision-making, and creativity are tied to "big, hairy, audacious goals" like world hunger, human rights, and resource management.

I think that this year's charge to solve global warming will fill the bill!