During this final week of #ocsbEarth Month, we focused on clean water. A topic that several grade 10 students at Notre Dame High School are passionate about.
Choosing a challenge
Last fall, as part of their Introduction to Business class, they participated in the Ciena Solutions Challenge. This global design challenge invites students and teachers to choose a big idea, identify a challenge within that idea, investigate ways to combat that challenge, and develop and act on a solution.
The class chose the UN Goals for Sustainable Development as their big idea. Students were free to pursue any project they wanted that fit within the UN Goals. Four different groups of students chose to focus on clean water, investigating various aspects of the issue and proposing unique solutions.
Cleaning our waterways
Jeralyn and Deborah raised awareness about the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup by creating and marketing stickers. Their fundraising supported Ocean Wise, the organization behind the cleanup, and the World Wildlife Fund.
Jayla was inspired to fundraise for an ocean preservation charity by creating a retail shirt campaign. She designed and marketed branded shirts. Proceeds were directed to The Ocean Cleanup.
Aidan decided to take matters into his own hands by organizing and orchestrating a shoreline clean-up. Aidan collaborated with the City of Ottawa to determine a site location and manage the logistics necessary for the event. His research brought him to Nepean Creek, a tributary of the Rideau River, where he held a community clean-up event in October.
Safer drinking water
Maxwell and Jordan researched the effects of waste in water sources. They prototyped a 3D-printed biodegradable water filtration bottle to promote awareness of drinkable water sources and our responsibility to keep them clean. Maxwell and Jordan also created a podcast and PSA video to spread their campaign message.
Alison focused on a different type of water “pollution” by examining how invasive species affect the local marine environment. She created an ad campaign and partnered with Ottawa Riverkeeper regarding how invasive species affect our environment. Alongside designing, printing, and distributing brochures and stickers, Allison also created a music video to raise awareness about this issue.
Real-life lessons and accomplishments
Working on their projects provided students with first-hand experience in business fundamentals, entrepreneurship, and financing. It also helped develop their problem-solving, communication, and time management skills. But perhaps most importantly, it allowed them to use their talents to take action on issues they cared about and proved that everyone could make a difference in the world.