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Upper Elementary Students Participate in a Global Water Project

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Summit Montessori’s Upper Elementary students are learning what it means to “think globally” by participating in a Level Up Village global project on water.  Students in grades four through six are working with students at the Petra Primary School in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.  Each Summit student is matched one-to-one with a student at the Petra Primary School. 

Level Up Village, a company based in Connecticut, provides students in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and more than 20 other countries worldwide with an opportunity to work together on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) projects.

The first three weeks of lessons included learning about the water cycle and the world wide system of aquifers.  Both the students in Zimbabwe and Summit students made model aquifers and watched how “pollution” entered their aquifer.  Making solar stills taught them one process of cleaning water – evaporation and recondensation to desalinate “sea” water.  Here at Summit, one still recovered a 55 ml portion of clean water from their dirty water sample; tasting it proved that the salt was left behind!  Global Learning - Water Project

Upper El and Petra School students are now in the process of introducing themselves to their global partners. They have each answered five written questions and have made three 45 second videos about themselves.  The videos described their favorite sport, a typical day, and a favorite holiday or celebration.

Our students are exchanging their videos with the students from Petra Primary through the secure Level Up Village portal.  After viewing the videos students will send 10 questions to their partner via the Level Up Village Portal to further get to know their partners.  While the 6 hour time difference between Framingham and Bulawayo makes it a challenge, students will try to have a live video session as the culmination of the project.

Working together, the students at each school will identify what they feel is their biggest water problem.  Summit students think waste may be their biggest problem, and they are waiting to hear what the students from Zimbabwe identify as theirs.  Students will then work collaboratively to come up with possible solutions for problems they identified.

In the coming weeks, the students will use the engineering design process to create a water filtration device; they’ll come up with a design, test it, watch and study the results, modify the design or plan as needed and reevaluate the results and the design.   We are all excited about this work!

Summit students are learning about much more than water: they are learning some of the geography of Zimbabwe (which is coincidentally the country that they will represent at the Montessori Model UN in the spring), are picking up some video editing skills, learning to navigate the secure Level Up Village portal: and, of course, are practicing the grace and courtesy of meeting and getting to know new people.

We look forward to updates on the project as the Summit Upper El students and their counterparts from the Petra School continue to design, plan, communicate, assess, revise and work together.