GEMS Education’s STREAMability puts new focus on solving UN SDGs with innovative prototypes
Twelve schools take part in fresh initiative based on inclusive collaboration
Twelve GEMS Education schools have taken part in a new initiative based on finding imaginative and innovative solutions to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, carried out by five-strong teams of students of varying abilities.
The ‘STREAMability’ teams presented their ideas at GEMS Legacy School (GLS) to an audience of fellow students, parents and educators. Ideas included, among others, solutions for preventing water wastage in school, a novel new system for school security against unwanted intruders, and a prototype car that is equally at home on land, on water and in the air.
The driving forces behind the programme, which is primarily for middle school children aged 11-14, include Mrs Asha Alexander, Principal of GEMS Legacy School and Executive Leader – Climate Change at GEMS Education, as well as the school’s Curriculum and Research Developer, Ms Ranjani Ramnath.
Each school team included children of exceptional ability, slower learners, as well as Children of Determination. The teams had no outside assistance from their teachers and had just three weeks to finalise their prototypes and demonstration models.
Ms Ramnath said: “It was wonderful to see the students work together so collaboratively to come up with such ingenious ideas. We wanted the programme to reflect three key pillars: Inclusion, Collaboration and Research based on the STREAM subjects of Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.
“STREAMability has brought together students of various levels of ability to work together in collaboration, mirroring the society they are getting prepared for, giving recognition to those children, and celebrating inclusivity in all its forms. We hope to see that such practices will be taken forward in each of the participating schools.”
GEMS Winchester School – Dubai (WSD) produced a system for recycling wastewater (aptly named ‘No Money Down the Drain’) from children washing their hands, which they calculated amounted to many thousands of litres every day at their school alone.
Alisha Kadri, who is in Year 9 at WSD, said: “We have seen many such systems, but nobody has thought of introducing this to our schools. Just think how much water can be recycled across all the schools in Dubai and the UAE. We really would love to see it implemented in our school first.”
STREAMability is the latest initiative of the GEMS Global Ambassadors Society, which represents some 30 member schools across the GEMS network.
It was formed to share best collaborative practices by twinning with schools both locally and internationally, and to collectively work on projects that further the UN’s SDGs. In the last 12 months alone, the Society’s projects have included planting more than 40,000 trees (‘Plant a Legacy’) across 42 countries, ‘Plogging’ sessions (collecting waste while exercising) across five UAE beaches and working with UK author Alan Hesse to publish a comic picture cookbook of healthy food recipes.
Participating schools for STREAMability included: GEMS Legacy School; GEMS Millennium School – Sharjah; GEMS Modern Academy; GEMS New Millennium School – Al Khail; GEMS Our Own English High School – Al Ain; GEMS Our Own English High School – Dubai; GEMS Winchester School – Dubai; Our Own English High School – Sharjah (Girls); The Millennium School – Dubai; The Westminster School – Dubai; Al Khaleej International School; and Our Own English High School – Sharjah (Boys).