You might have heard us mentioning the term Changemakers a lot lately. And you might find yourself asking, what does it actually mean? Well, this blog post explains the concept of a Changemaker, and shares some active ideas on how you can work with your students to harvest the future Changemakers we need.
What is a Changemaker?
Being a Changemaker is about empowering people who have a specific skill set and allowing them to use their motivation to create positive social change for the greater good. It is about finding a greater purpose and wanting to have a positive impact on the world – whether it is in the field of sustainability and stewardship towards Earth or helping the homeless in your local community.
At CAS Trips we incorporate the element of becoming a Changemaker in every trip. With the help of our Changemakers Challenge, we teach our travelers all about the notion of making change. On our trips, students receive the necessary skills and learn about what it takes to make a positive change. We then send them off to work on a project of their own, and ask them to submit this for a chance to win a trip to one of our Global Student Exchange destinations.
But of course, we want teachers to continue working with students back in their home country, and more specifically, within the classroom.
So we have come up with four ideas on how to harvest Changemakers in a classroom environment.
1. Let’s get literal – go harvest
Changemakers are all about formulating a mission statement that is turned into reality – whether it is achieved as an individual or with the power of teamwork.
If you are a biology teacher, you will have spoken about photosynthesis and plants countless times. You will probably also be familiar with the simple plant-in-shoe-box experiment. Why not take it a step further and create a little school garden? You can incorporate aspects of the science curriculum, have students learn how to take care of plants, and even host a mini-salad garden party to celebrate!
2. Mentor the next generation
In need of an interesting project that will help your students get out of their comfort zone? Start a mentoring program, whereby your older students partner up with the younger students in your school and work together.
It could involve, reading with first graders, math lessons with fourth graders or hosting a mixed-age-lunch. There are many ways in which the older student generation can help the ones that are in the process of growing up to become Changemakers – use that opportunity.
3. Carbon footprint coupled with math
Have your students heard about carbon footprinting? By definition, a carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. In recent years, it has become a trend to carbon offset flights, cars, etc.
Have students calculate their own personal carbon footprint during a math class, and come up with fun yet realistic math problems focused on carbon offsetting.
4. Classroom changes
Turn students into interior designers for the day and ask them to research and present ideas on how to make their classroom more sustainable – from energy efficiency to recycling bins.
This could be a great school collaboration project, involving various curriculums such as science, art, information technology in global society, and business management. Host a large presentation, where the school board and key decision makers vote on the best ideas and turn them into action.
We would love to hear about your ideas, and what you do in your school in regards to sustainability and harvesting the student Changemakers we need. Just drop an an email here.