Amazing Achievements…

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Helen Keller, Samuel Morse and Christopher Columbus

Jonah, who is seven years old, came home from school one day last term and told us that he had to choose a person that had done something amazing in the world as part of his Amazing Achievements project.  He then had to research this person and put together a presentation for his classmates, their parents and visitors to the school in a few weeks time.  Bringing this task to the dinner table was interesting because as parents it is important to show an interest and to fully support your child in their school work but not to impose your own thoughts and ideas on the learning process.  It was vital that Jonah ‘owned’ the process and had the passion and enthusiasm to research and present on someone that he really aspired to.

Who would you choose for your amazing achievements project?  Who is your hero?

 

 

 

Of course my emotions and initial instincts tempted me to suggest the likes of: Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and Aung San Suu Kyi… but I resisted and we took the approach of brainstorming his interests and things he likes to read and find out more about before making a decision.  His list went something like this:

Inventing things, science, poetry, animals, helping people…

After taking these ideas on board I did publicly suggest my ideas around the table, ‘wouldn’t it be great to do Charles Darwin, Dr. Jane Goodall or even better Wilfred Owen – it is the 100th anniversary of WW1 – what a great connection.’  After explaining who these remarkable people were and why I thought they had contributed amazing achievements I was not getting much enthusiasm from Jonah.  Jonah’s mother then suggested that he actually think more locally and choose somebody related to Thailand and possibly someone that may even still be alive and could be involved in the research process (a great idea).  So we then considered:

Khun Lek (Elelphant Nature Park), Nancy Gibson (Love Wildlife Thailand) and Khun Mechai Viravaidya (The Bamboo School)*

*Posts to follow soon on each of these inspiring people and speakers

Jonah started to show more interest and liked the idea of being able to actually meet the person he was researching and presenting on and having primary information – possibly even involve them in his presentation as well!  By the end of (an extended) dinner time we had discussed a wide range of ideas and possibilities and left him with the weekend to make his final decision and to come up with someone who he wanted to do his project on.

With a little help from the iPad, Jonah finally came up with Samuel Morse as his amazing achievements person.  He was intrigued by Morse code and how it works, why it is used and how and why and when it was invented.  It had really caught his imagination and the more he read and the more he inquired the more he realised that Samuel Morse met most of his interests and passions.  I must admit at first I was not that impressed with his choice of person but soon realised as Jonah used his research (including an e-mail to and a reply from the Samuel Morse museum in the UK) that this was somebody that achieved a lot more than invent the Morse code, that there was a personal tragedy that motivated and ultimately urged him to help others and improve the world that he was living in at that time. I enjoyed learning through Jonah and being part of his amazing achievements project and was an immensely proud father when I got the chance to see his presentation.

This type of learning draws on personal emotions and encourages intrinsic drive and outcomes – ultimately creating amazing achievements for the young people that have been involved and supported through the process.

Click here to see Jonah’s blog about his amazing achievements project.

Click here to see a video of Jonah’s presentation.

 

Congratulations to Brittany Tang on achieving the Global Ambassador Award

Learn to know, Learn to do, Learn to be, Learn to live together

To see Brittany’s portfolio of targets and reflections for the Global Ambassador Award please follow: www.casbrittanytang.wordpress.com

Social Entrepreneur and Global Ambassador

Social Entrepreneur and Global Ambassador

Comment from Brittany:

To fulfill the, learn to speak more than 1 language component, I dedicated 4 years to learning French throughout high school and used this skill to communicate with French speakers in my home town.

Brittany was also awarded the King Constantine Medal for her commitment and contributions to the IDEALS of Round Square when living and studying in Thailand.  She also helped establish the Brittany Tang Award for Outstanding Global Citizenship which annually recognises the achievements of one young person as a global citizen and awards them a bursary to support a project or partnership related to their personal Global Citizenship Award.

Congratulations Brittany on being an amazing Global Citizen.  We look forward to hearing about your progress and achievements in becoming a Global Mentor.

 

Never heard of a hungi kengi?

Adpated from The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond

On a Southwest Pacific Island called Rennell middle-aged islanders can name 126 different Rennell plant species in the Rennell language.  For each species they can explain whether the seeds and fruits are inedible to animals as well as to humans, or else eaten by birds and bats but not by humans, or else edible to humans.  Among those species eaten by humans, some are further distinguished as being ‘eaten only after the hungi kengi.’

How did the hungi kengi turn normally inedible fruits into edible ones?

A very old woman on the island is able to explain.  The hungi kengi was the Rennell name for the biggest cyclone to have hit the island in living memory, around about 1910.  The old woman had been a child at the time (and is now in her late 70s or 80s).  The cyclone had flattened Rennell’s forests, destroyed the gardens, and threatened the islanders with starvation.  Until new gardens could be planted and began producing, the people at the time had to resort to anything at all digestible, including not just the usual preferred wild fruit species but also that would be normally ignored – i.e., the fruits as being ‘eaten only after the hungi kengi’.  That required knowledge about which of those second-choice fruits were non-poisonous and safe to eat.  Fortunately, at the time of the hungi kengi, there were islanders alive who remembered an earlier cyclone and how they had coped then.  Now, this old woman is the last person alive in her village with that inherited experience and knowledge.

See also: ‘Laboon’ – the wave that eats people

Today there are about 7,000 languages still spoken throughout the world.  On average 10 languages become extinct every year and extinctions over the next century will leave the world with only a few hundred.

Why do languages become extinct?

What are the implications of a language becoming extinct?

200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes

This is a geographers dream – imagine having this resource in your classroom or even better Hans Rosling himself come and speak with you and the students…

200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes

How has globalisation and interconnections impacted the economic and social development of the world’s countries over the last 200 years?

How and why has this development varied globally, nationally and regionally (locally)?

Will every citizen of the Earth be wealthy and healthy in the next 20, 50, 100 years?

‘La-boon’ – the wave that eats people.

Why are languages and traditions important?

More than 250,000 people were killed by the Asian Tsunami on 26th December 2004 but not one Moken sea gypsy person was killed by the tsunami on Koh Surin in Thailand – why?

What can we learn from this with regards to the challenges that way face through globalisation and interconnections?

Watch this short video about the Moken sea gypsy community in Koh Surin in southern Thailand

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Photo credit

We Walk Together

The Regents International School Pattaya hosted the Round Square International Conference in October 2010.  The student chosen theme was inspired by Father Joe Maier and based on community partnerships and service learning – We Walk Together.

77 schools and 850 delegates from every habitable continent attended the two week conference.  What was your highlight of the conference?  

We Walk Together logo 2010

We Walk Together logo 2010

The 2010 Round Square International Conference Statement:

We must establish a long-term relationship with our environment and community. We must build upon the foundations of what we already have and give everyone an equal opportunity to  pursue their goals.

To do this, we will:

Walk without pity, doubt and apathy,

Walk with empathy, conviction and humility,

Take small, careful and sustainable steps along the way.

Because if we don’t walk today, we will have to run tomorrow.

RS 2010 Student Steering Committee

RS 2010 Student Steering Committee

Father Joe Maier – We Walk Together (RS 2010)

Student Steering Committee with Khun Nui at the Father Ray Foundation

Student Steering Committee with Khun Nui at the Father Ray Foundation

We Walk Together RS 2010 (Mayo 2009 version)

We Walk Together Glove Dance, choreographed by Yeoi Shin Jung and performed by the Student Steering Committee

We Walk Together, music by Amit Garg and sung by RS 2010 Student Steering Committee

How are places and people interconnected and why is this important?

“interconnect” (verb) (of two or more things) to connect with or be related to each other: The problems of poverty and unemployment are all interconnected.

DID YOU KNOW?

“interdependent” (adjective) depending on each other:  All living things are interdependent.

GLOBALISATION

Task 1

Place the following nine ways that places and people are interconnected in a diamond (1, 2, 3, 2, 1) rank order based on which ones you think HAVE had the largest impact on people and changing places and environments up until today (substitute any of them for a better example that you think is missing):

Digital technology / mobile devices
Languages, culture and traditions
World Wide Web (internet)
Economy and trade
Transportation and exploration
TV, radio and media
Politics
Education (literacy)
Tourism

*Please prepare a few sentences or add a comment to this post to justify your rank order / placements.

Task 2

Place the same nine ways that places and people are interconnected in a diamond (1, 2, 3, 2, 1) rank order based on which ones you think WILL have the largest impact on people and changing places and environments in the next 20 years (substitute any of them for a better example that you think is missing).

*Please prepare a few sentences or add a comment to this post to justify your rank order / placements.

Task 3

Place the same nine ways that places and people are interconnected in a diamond (1, 2, 3, 2, 1) rank order based on which ones you think SHOULD have the largest impact on people and changing places and environments in the next 20 years (substitute any of them for a better example that you think is missing).

*Please prepare a few sentences or add a comment to this post to justify your rank order / placements.

Things to think about:

Why are interconnections and inter-dependencies important for the future of places and environments?

How do people participate in an interconnected world?

How should global citizens participate in an interconnected world?

 

Facts that should change the world

Can you match the start of the fact with the correct ending (the correct answers are below)?

The average Japanese woman can expect to live to be 84… Teen pregnancy rates in the developed world.

A third of the world’s obese people… That’s more than what 75% of Africans have to live on.

The US and Britain have the highest… Than the Christian cross.

Every cow in the European Union is subsidised by $2.50 a day… Live in the developing world.

One in five… Is at war.

Landmines kill or maim… Prisoners of conscience in the world.

More people can identify the golden arches of MacDonald’s… Die out every year.

A third of the world’s population… Have never heard a dial tone.

Ten languages… In nine countries, the penalty is death.

There are at least 300,000… At least one person every hour.

The average urban Briton is caught on camera up to… Of the world’s people lives on less than $1 a day.

More than 50% of the world’s population… The average Botswanan will reach just 39.

In more than 70 countries same-sex relationships are illegal… 300 times a day.

*50 Facts that should change the world, Jessica Williams

 

The correct answers:

 

The average Japanese woman can expect to live to be 84…
The average Botswanan will reach just 39.

A third of the world’s obese people…
Live in the developing world.

The US and Britain have the highest…
Teen pregnancy rates in the developed world.

Every cow in the European Union is subsidised by $2.50 a day…
That’s more than what 75% of Africans have to live on.

One in five…
Of the world’s people lives on less than $1 a day.

Landmines kill or maim…
At least one person every hour.

More people can identify the golden arches of MacDonald’s…
Than the Christian cross.

A third of the world’s population…
Is at war.

Ten languages…
Die out every year.

There are at least 300,000…
Prisoners of conscience in the world.

The average urban Briton is caught on camera up to…
300 times a day.

More than 50% of the world’s population…
Have never heard a dial tone.

In more than 70 countries same-sex relationships are illegal…
In nine countries, the penalty is death.

 

 

 

Why global citizenship scholarships are important

A young Manoj

A young Manoj

Manoj Chapagain is an amazing young man from Nepal.  He came to Regents School Pattaya in 2009 (thanks to Peter Dalglish and Dr. Virachai Techavijit) as a shy Round Square scholar and has just graduated this June from Year 13 with an IB Diploma score of 35 points, a fantastic achievement of personal challenge and academic achievement.  The best aspect of Manoj’s learning journey since leaving his home community and rural school in Nepal has been his enthusiasm and passion to have a go at everything at the same time consistently demonstrate high moral values and politeness to all those he meets and befriends.  To Manoj studying in an international school setting and with core values based upon the Round Square IDEALS has meant that everything has been an opportunity for him and a privilege to embrace and make the most of – which the rest of us often take for granted.  He is the perfect role model for fellow students and educators to have in a school – I only hope that my children have the opportunity to learn with and gain a friend for life like Manoj.  I know for a fact that Manoj’s fellow peers in his year group have gained as much if not more than Manoj himself by having him in their cohort for the last five years. #whoisteachingwho?

Manoj's old school in Nepal

Manoj’s old school in Nepal

Apart from the whole new country, culture, learning through English and having to live in a boarding house experience Manoj’s first major challenge was to speak at the Round Square International Conference hosted by Regents School Pattaya in October 2010 in front of 850 people and HM King Constantine, the President of Round Square. He did this superbly and was one of the most popular speakers of the conference.

We Walk Together

We Walk Together 2010

Having Manoj in the school allowed us to develop a community partnership with his old school in Nepal, something Manoj was very keen to establish. This was achieved through a social enterprise group created by Manoj and his friends called: Project Nepal. The group worked hard to fund raise to buy a number of computers for the school and were able to visit the school with Manoj at the end of June. Further below is a letter and some images from Manoj regarding the project.

To achieve the Global Ambassador Award a young person is required to complete their targets and personal reflections across all 16 Identities but must also commit to continuing to support and stay connected with their school or community beyond graduation as a global citizen.  Manoj has certainly done this and created a legacy that hopefully many younger students (and teachers) will follow and thrive from as they too challenge themselves to become global citizen learners and high achievers.

Who is teaching who?  Joyce and Ellen - part of the Project Nepal team

Who is teaching who? Joyce and Ellen – part of the Project Nepal team

Dear all,

I hope you all are well. I would like to share with you all a summary of a small project that I completed this summer with the help of teachers and students from Regent’s

I asked some of my friends and teachers to help me raise money to buy computers for my village school,where I studied as a little kid.  We came up with name ‘Project Nepal’. This started August of 2013. My friend Joyce and some other friends encouraged me and were willing to support me fully. Thus, We started doing fund raising events such as dodge ball tournament, computer game tournament and many other events at Regents. In addition my friend Joyce who helped me enormously to raise money by asking her friends back in Taiwan to donate money to this project. She has contributed the most to this project.All together we raised 3400 USD. Futhermore, Mr Alex(a friend of Peter’s in Bangkok and my friend too ) contributed 46250 npr to this project,totaling upto 364250 npr

New computers in the Nepalese school

New computers in the Nepalese school

The school already had a room that needed painting,carpeting ,a fan and many other things so when I got back to Nepal in ,I went to the village and started overseeing this.Now the room has 7 computer with UPS from project Nepal and other five computer which was donated to school by a cement factory. The installation for internet is still in the process.

2 weeks ago 5 students from Regents and two teachers visited the school, the computer lab,did an opening ceremony which was fun. . They stayed in my village ,in my home for two nights and it was amazing to see my friends in my village. Everyday we used to walk to the school where my friends used to play games,interact and teach English to the school kids.It was fantastic for me to see students from regents interacting with kids in my village. It felt great because I was part of the village school during my childhood and then I also became a part of Regents family. It almost felt like joining two family togethers. This is the first Project Nepal “PROJECT” and it was successful.

I would like to thank everyone for all their help! I would still like to continue with “Project Nepal” and help many other schools and poor kids in the future.

 Manoj

Mr. Bolland - a Project Nepal team member and also a Global Mentor

Mr. Bolland – a Project Nepal team member and also a Global Mentor

 

10 years since the Asian Tsunami

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It is 10 years this Boxing Day since the Asian Tsunami devastated large areas of 14 different countries around the Indian Ocean, killing more than 280,000 people with 40,000 of them never being found.

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Rubbish and debris left behind after the tsunami had receded on Phi Phi Island.

 

 

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The Tsunami Memorial Garden on Phi Phi Island.

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Kru Meena and Kru Wirawut, the headmaster of Baan Koh Phi Phi School, in early 2005.

 

 

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Sponsored school lunches for the Baan Koh Phi Phi students,.

 

 

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Creating community partnerships through education…

 

 

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…including international partnerships, Bermuda High School for Girls visit Phi Phi Island in 2006.

 

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Shifting cement and building a community resource centre in Laem Tong, 2009.

 

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A promise to return.