Big Ideas week 2 in Middle School next week

“Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.” So said the Hungarian biochemist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1937.

Our students will have opportunities to explore water from angles not examined before. Why do we sell water in bottles?  Is access to water a human right?  Why bother to save water when it rains all the time? Why do holiday destinations often include access to water? Why worry about pollution in water? Why worry about droughts and floods when it never happens where we are? How do we use water in agriculture?  How has water shaped our world? Why do we baptize babies with drops of water? How can a water molecule have been around when dinosaurs lived yet today the same water molecule could be in my cup of tea?  Who said the sea is within us? Why?

By delving into these and more multi-disciplinary questions, students will be discovering who they are, how they fit into this world and how their actions impact the world. Working as collaborators and creative thinkers, students hopefully will be demonstrating their respect for each other and the world around them.

Grade 7 and 8 students will be working in groups of 16 to generate more questions on their specific water angle, work collaboratively towards an understanding of the problem or issue and then develop creative suggestions and plans for solving the problems or contributing towards a greater awareness.  Students will not only have in-house coaching by their teachers but have a list of experts to draw inspiration from, as far away as Cambridge and Hawaii! Having a positive impact on the world and reaching out to our global community is part of our water mission.

We look forward — with great anticipation — to waves of exciting discoveries and a bank of creative contributions.

By Stephanie Wintjes, MS curriculum coordinator and art teacher