[Blog by Susan Monkton, Schools Liaison Officer at our Cardiff Hub]
The last 12 months have certainly been an experience. Not only have we experienced a global pandemic, but we have also seen protests, politics and panic buying! We have all discovered the way the world can work if it really has to, and the benefits and challenges that can come from that.
Despite everything, the world has continued on. We have had weather extremes (even for Wales!) going from a boiling hot summer to a stormy Boxing Day. Where humans have retreated, nature has taken over. Venice’s water filled with dolphins and a walrus visited Tenby! The conversation around our climate has been ongoing for as long as I can remember, and across the world, we are starting to see the effects of those changes.
At our Cardiff hub, four Delivery Officers plan and deliver our workshops in schools. These roles are filled by students undertaking a Year in Industry placement. It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop and learn new skills, but also means our delivery is led by young and enthusiastic students who act as inspirational role models to pupils. As our workshops have been remote this year, one of our Delivery Officers, Arunima, worked from her home in India. This gave us a unique opportunity to pilot an International Cultural Exchange Project between schools in India and schools in Wales.
Our work and experience in technology gave us a starting point, and with the conversation regarding the Climate Emergency being prevalent in our minds, this helped us create One World, One Technology. This is a project that aims to work across two schools in two countries, using the new skills we have all gained to work remotely and collaboratively. The project will work with groups of young people in India and Wales, to create a technology that will aim to address an issue in their area that is a result of Climate Change.
Our Cardiff hub will facilitate sessions for pupils on technology programmes and uses and ensure time to allow interaction between the students in India and Wales. The project will work with the students in respect of their knowledge of technology, and we hope that students will be able to share their experiences across cultures. For example, what their classrooms look like, their towns and buildings, how their day looks and how their education is going.
I am so excited (and slightly terrified) for this project! This is the first time that we have taken the step into working Internationally as a team, and we have certainly jumped in at the deep end! We have been incredibly lucky with the schools that have joined the project and the time the teachers are putting in to make this project work, so we are very grateful to them.
This year, we have discovered that our world is precious, and we are all linked to each other, no matter the distance. There will always be differences between people from two countries, but there will also always be similarities. The next five weeks in the project are going to be an adventure, but I am very proud to be a part of it and can’t wait to see what incredible ideas the students share from two sides of the world.