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Celebrating Dream Land: A Sustainable Community Created by Grade 2 Students

Celebrating Dream Land: A Sustainable Community Created by Grade 2 Students

By Fish Tung, Assistant Communications Officer

As part of their social studies curriculum, our Grade 2 students in Mr. Campbell’s class created “Dream Land,” a sustainable community and a heartwarming, careful exploration of how we can live and work together. With an emphasis on researching the vital components of a thriving community and understanding what a town needs to thrive, our students used their learning to conceptualize and design a town where sustainability, belonging, and cooperation are first priorities.  

Guided by their teachers, our students learned about what communities need and discussed what might happen when communities don't have access to these resources, like schools, hospitals, fire departments, or grocery stores. But what do all of these important places in a town need? People! This led our students to more key learning questions: in a thriving community, what kinds of jobs do people do? What kinds of roles do we need? With an essential focus on cooperation and teamwork to create a cohesive community, our students explored how people need to work together to make their community a safe, healthy, and happy place to live.  

The project embraced a transdisciplinary approach, allowing students to see the interconnectedness of subjects and their real-world applications. Through integrating various academic disciplines like math, reading, and writing, students not only grasped the concepts of sustainability but also developed critical skills in problem-solving and communication. 

Armed by knowledge and empowered by their own reflections, Grade 2 got to work to create their own community where everyone, regardless of background or ability, could thrive and contribute meaningfully. Accessible infrastructure and community gardens symbolized their dedication to creating a space where all individuals felt valued and welcomed. 

For instance, the “Rainbow Farm,” a bustling agricultural hub, symbolized self-sufficiency, providing the community with an abundance of fresh produce and vegetables. This parallels our students’ firsthand experience with the Green Club, which has transformed part of the TAS rooftop terrace into a vegetable garden that feeds into our own cafeteria.  

The community's energy needs were met by the innovative Dream Land “Energy Farm,” where solar panels and wind turbines worked in harmony to harness renewable energy from the sun and wind. With a steadfast commitment to sustainability, the students ensured that every home and business in Dream Land enjoyed access to clean, renewable electricity. Good for the people of Dream Land, and great for the planet!  

Math lessons were pivotal in determining infrastructure dimensions and energy requirements. Reading and writing activities supported research on sustainable practices, enriching students' decision-making and communication skills. 

To combat traffic congestion and promote eco-friendly transportation, the students introduced the Dreamland Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), providing residents with a convenient and efficient way to navigate the community. Additionally, a robust bridge spanning the river kept people on both sides of the river connected. 

Inspired by Taipei, parks and playgrounds dotted the landscape, offering residents opportunities for recreation and relaxation amidst nature's embrace. The centrally located fire department stood as a symbol of safety and protection, strategically positioned to swiftly respond to emergencies and ensure the well-being of the community, no matter where someone lived in Dream Land.  

Mr. Alfredo Papaseit, our STEAM & Tech coach, played a vital role in enhancing the students' learning experience. Mr. Papaseit not only facilitated brainstorming sessions to generate innovative ideas but also provided hands-on guidance in acquiring the technical skills necessary to bring those ideas to life. From understanding the mechanics of solar panels to programming miniature models of wind turbines, students received personalized instruction tailored to their interests and abilities. 

“Witnessing their enthusiasm, and supporting our students collaborate and problem-solve as they designed Dream Land, especially seeing them thinking about the details and trying to make the community better, the process has been truly rewarding and inspiring!” Mr. Campbell, Grade 2 Teacher, shared. 

Reflecting on his involvement in the project, Mr. Papaseit expressed his passion for nurturing young problem-solvers. He remarked, “Empowering young minds to explore the intersection of technology and sustainability has been an extraordinary journey of discovery. This Dream Land was built upon the students’ curiosity and determination!” 

As the students proudly declared in their video presentation, “In Dream Land, anything is possible!” Their creativity and effort to think about what, and who, communities need to create positive change is an inspiration to us all! These young learners have indeed proven themselves to be the architects of a brighter tomorrow. Great job, students!