Let’s change the world WITH our students (here’s how)

You ever have one of those moments where you wonder what you are doing with your life? I mean, at the very least, you are like me and have had times where something catches you off guard and makes you rethink your purpose and impact on the world.

It just so happens I’ve had two of those moments in the past month…

First, was a video that Patrick Larkin shared of students in his school district who created a PSA (Public Service Announcement) that went viral online. In the video (shared below) the students use paper and their phone to record a silent PSA to end the use of the “R-word” in our schools and in our daily lives. It really spoke to me seeing how much of an impact these students could have on their world while still in school (7th grade).

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Second, my dad just returned from a trip to Swaziland. I’ve written about this before that I’ve been to South Africa and Swaziland and my dad founded an organization (Swaziland Relief) that has built a school, mobile medical clinics, and so much more in one of the poorest countries in the world.

He shared with me this video of the students in the school saying “Hello” to all of us here back in the US. The government wants to double the school, that already has 260 students, because of the high demand of this type of quality education.

Each of these moments made me rethink what we COULD be doing in our schools. And what I could be doing in my own school district.

I began talking with some teachers in my own school and around the country about a potential project. One that would allow students to impact their world right now. You see, the UN 2030 Sustainable Goals had come out in September, and no one knew about them. I asked a group of educators at an event a few weeks ago if they knew about the UN 2030 Goals and only a few hands raised up. It wasn’t their fault. Here are the goals:


The news and media covered it for a day or two and then went back to the typical cycle of negative and celebrity coverage, dismissing what is an enormous opportunity for all of us to make a difference in our world.

We did a mini-project around the 2030 Goals at this event, and after a few conversations the idea evolved…

What if we had schools around the world who Pledged to support the UN 2030 Goals?

What if students and teachers in those schools supported the UN 2030 Goals through projects that had real purpose?

What if those schools and students could connect with each other to build, make, and create things to support the 2030 goals together?

And now, those questions are becoming a reality.

Announcing the 2030 Schools Global Project

The 2030Schools.com site provides a way for schools around the world to get started supporting the UN 2030 Goals through project-based learning.

The UN has already built out a wonderful site for educators looking to do a lesson on the UN 2030 Goals (check it out here at World’s Largest Lesson) – but this site will be a bit different because it focuses on PBL and global collaboration to spread awareness of the goals.

Here’s how you can Become a 2030 School:

1. Go to 2030Schools.com

2. Pledge to be a 2030 School and join the online community

3. Show your students the UN 2030 Schools Video (link here) and explain what the 2030 Goals are using resources from the “World’s Largest Lesson” site.

4. Have students break out and choose a goal that means something to them personally (what are they passionate about?)

5. Choose a project (we currently have a short 1-3 day project and a longer multi-week project that you can choose between)

6. Share what you’ve made, create awareness campaigns around your chosen goal, and collaborate with other students and classrooms around the world!

This is in the very beginning stages, but we are pumped.

Sixth graders in my district will be doing the mini-project this Spring and we are hoping to connect with schools from all over the world. The online community will be launching in December and we’ll have a map of all the 2030 Schools around the world!

If you are interested in helping change the world by supporting the UN 2030 Goals, please head over to 2030Schools.com and join the community. We’ll be using the #2030schools hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.

Let’s change the world WITH our students.


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