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These first few weeks of working with Chrysalis and students from the University of the Bahamas have been both enriching and eye-opening. Although I knew, when coming into the program, that we would be working to create lesson plans for k-12 Bahamian students, it was not until we began learning about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the Bahamas that I really began to understand the extent to which our created lesson plans could have an impact on the future of the Bahamas.
During Week one, we spent a lot of time getting into the swing of the design aspect of the program. I have never been a very creative person, so when introduced to the design assignments and materials we would be working with, I was a but frightened. However, through our extensive use of mind mapping, I have found that it really allows my creative juices to flow, making room for some creative thinking that I was not able to tap into in the past. The use of mind mapping has also shown to be an amazing tool to express the intersectionality of the SDGs. For example, to end all poverty (SDG #1), extensive hunger within the country must be lessened through rectifying food insecurity, which can be diminished through the development of infrastructure that would allow food to reach Bahamians in a more efficient manner, through the development of resilient infrastructure (SDG #9). To tie it all together, the strides to build resilient infrastructure and accomplish many of the other 16 SDGs, Partnership (SDG #17) is needed to build relationships between governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations. Additionally, during week one we were introduced to the concept of Project Based Learning, which works to allow students to gain knowledge by working for an extended period to investigate and respond to an authentic, complex question, problem, or challenge. I was amazed by what students had produced in a project Jennifer Wellberg had her students participate in which produced a replication of their community, which ended up being absolutely gigantic! Students were able to create their houses and community using paper bags, construction paper, markers, and pipe cleaners. The challenge in creating lesson plans for the Bahamian students will be the availability of materials that would normally be seen in an American classroom.
During Week two, there was much of the same activities as week one, however we were able to meet with some elementary school teachers about creating lesson plans. I am really excited to see the lesson plans my counterparts and myself will create, and how the Bahamian teachers will react to those lesson plans!