As part of Shrewsbury's commitment to global citizenship, Year 12 students have recently been preparing for their student leadership roles at Riverside's upcoming 'Global Goals Day', an event held in connection with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Students took part in a series of sustainability workshops entitled Designing for Sustainability.
To provide some background to the sessions, let's first start with a question - one which students themselves were asked at the start of their first seminar:
What do you see when you look at a pen?
To many, a simple and almost insignificant item; an object perhaps so complete in its configuration and convenience that it has reached the pinnacle of perfectly functional design.
Or has it?
Perhaps, if you would entertain the idea for just a moment longer and only this time take the time to think about how it came to be - its production journey and its parts. How do its various fasteners, fixtures and its fittings all come together? How are they produced? How are they disposed of?
This is precisely what students were challenged to consider - and in doing so, the foundation was laid for Shrewsbury's innovative Designing for Sustainability workshop series.
Bolts were unscrewed, lids untwisted, and covers unfastened for a 'product autopsy'. An information-gathering exercise, the complete disassembly of a product evaluates design decisions, learns from those decisions, and explores more sustainable ways to make new versions. In their scrutiny of the current 'norm', students disassembled pens and other seemingly everyday objects we all take for granted, brainstorming ideas to enhance every step of the design process sustainably.
Growing in momentum and termed the new 'circular economy,' students explored alternative design ideas to create more sustainable loops with less waste. Shrewsbury's commitment to nurturing future thinking innovators and creating global citizens makes us believe the conversation starts in the classroom.
Just as we challenged our Year 12 students, we can all rethink our wasteful and unsustainable ways and resign our modern conveniences to insignificance once and for all.
Shrewsbury Riverside's Global Goals Day takes place on 1 July. It is held in connection with the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. Students from across multiple year groups will come together in a series of student-led workshops, presentations, and debates for the entire day. The overarching aim is to challenge the norms and educate how we increase SDG collaboration to reduce poverty, inequalities and harmful production cycles currently embedded in our lives.