From understanding climate change to combating world hunger, students at Principia are stepping up as a force for good with out-of-the box thinking and passionate ingenuity. As part of a school-wide campaign, the Impact Challenge supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through student projects, classroom work, and community service initiatives at all levels. Projects focus on one or more of the goals, and the School comes together to present results at the annual Impact Challenge Showcase.
The event was virtual this year, bringing in speakers and mentors from the United Nations Association in St. Louis and several other local organizations working to further the sustainable goals. Principia’s Impact Challenge offers students the opportunity to ignite critical thinking, spark innovation, develop and improve leadership skills, and cultivate global engagement and problem solving.
While supporting students’ growth as environmentally responsible citizens, these projects help them become compassionate leaders who work to better the lives of others locally and globally.
“I want students to embrace their role as change agents in this world,” says Sustainability Coordinator and Upper School teacher Lynne Scott. “For attendees, I want them to walk away with an appreciation of the breadth of sustainability. Social justice, equity, access to quality education, clean energy, climate action are all elements of sustainability, and these pieces need to be seen holistically and collectively to understand the interconnectedness.”
Every level at Principia is working toward one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- In Preschool, students are tackling zero poverty by facilitating community service projects such as clothing and toy drives for those in need.
- First-grade students are discovering the effects of climate change through a unit focused on meteorology and climatology.
- A group in Middle School partnered with the Saint Louis Zoo to raise awareness about polar bear endangerment. Using the campus as their own laboratory, another group is restoring wetlands around Principia while others are proposing changes to Principia’s energy expenditures.
- At the Upper School, students have led fundraisers to help feed local populations, supported schools across the world hit hard by COVID-19, raised awareness about plastic pollution, attended a Youth Empowerment Summit, and more.
These are just a small sampling of the work being done across Principia School to support the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations.
The lessons learned through these projects and initiatives inspire students to take action and improve the world. This work is at the heart of Principia’s effort to foster courageous and innovative changemakers, and students will carry the skills and knowledge they’ve gained into their careers and everyday lives.