Over 2,000 students from around the world participated in the Global School Pride Contest, sharing what makes their school special in the PenPal Schools project Schools Around the World. We’re excited to announce the winners from this contest: Iris, Ava, Lauren, and Catherine from Trinity Preparatory School in Florida, USA!
These 6th grade students created a dynamic slideshow to show off their school pride. They included their school logo, pictures and descriptions of some of their favorite parts of their school, and even video interviews with students and teachers!
In this project based learning example, Iris, Ava, Lauren, and Catherine connected with their peers around the world to compare their schools. By doing this, they were able to learn more about the unique attributes that make their school special. During the project, Iris compared her school to schools in China.
“I go to Trinity Preparatory School, which has middle school and high school all on one campus. Unlike a school in China, our classrooms can only hold a maximum of 22-30 students. In China, most of the classrooms can hold up to 50 students. Our school is similar to some of the schools across the world because we serve breakfast in the Grill.”
We asked their teacher, Andrea Sockwell, how global connections impact her students. She told us:
“Global connections have a big impact in this class, Geography and World Cultures. Our main goal is to help students learn about the people and cultures of the world and a project like this was fun for them because it allows them to celebrate what they feel is special and unique about our school, while also learning about the schools and daily routines of kids around the world. I love that they can respond to each others' work and ask questions about each other.”
When they’re not busy learning with PenPals and winning global contests, these PenPal Stars stay busy playing a lot of sports, like volleyball, tennis, swimming, and soccer. We asked Iris, Ava, Lauren, and Catherine to share more about their experience in Schools Around the World and how the came up with their winning idea.
PENPAL SCHOOLS: Tell us about the final project you decided to publish in the showcase! What did you choose to create, and why? How did you come up with that idea?
LAUREN: Well, we didn't want to do just one thing about Trinity because there are so many things to do so we decided to do a slideshow on Trinity's highlights.
CATHERINE: We did a Google slides on how our school is special. We walked around campus, taking pictures about the unique things about our school. We put 1-2 photos on each slide, with a paragraph to explain how it is special.
How did you feel when you found out you won the contest?
AVA: Great, I still can't believe I won!
CATHERINE: When I found out I won the contest I was so happy! I felt like screaming at the top of my lungs!
What is the most interesting thing you learned from your PenPals?
LAUREN: I think it would be that some people around the world practice religions as a class. My favorite thing that I have learned with PenPals is seeing what different types of school and routines of other people around the world and we can communicate with other people.
CATHERINE: I learned how people around the world learn, and what their schools look like. I liked PenPals, because I got to find out how people around the world learn, and what their schools look like.
AVA: You can communicate with people around the world in just seconds! [I learned] that their lifestyle can be so different, for example, a girl from a different continent said she did a dance.
Why do you think it's important to learn with other students from around the world?
AVA: I think it is important to learn the way people live so if you ever visit there you know what to expect.
CATHERINE: I think it's important to learn with other students around the world, to see, maybe their learning about the same things we are, with a different perspective.
LAUREN: I think its important because when you learn about these things you can relate to other people and it also good to learn new things every day.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
CATHERINE: If I could travel anywhere in the world, it would be Tokyo, because it is very unique, and has many activities to keep you busy.
AVA: I would go to Greece and Rome if I could go anywhere because I have learned a lot about Greek and Roman mythology and like it.
What advice do you have about being a great PenPal?
LAUREN: My advice would be for future PenPals to write to other people, explore different cultures, and learn.
Congratulations, again, to our Global School Pride Contest winners Iris, Ava, Lauren, and Catherine from Trinity Preparatory School in Florida, USA!
Even though the Global School Pride Contest is over, you can still invite your students to compare schools in Schools Around the World! This ongoing project is a great way to bring more global perspectives into your classroom.