Target 2 – Leadership in a Student Centered Learning Environment. FWSU will foster development of teacher & student leaders who provide innovative opportunities for local and global student-centered learning.

Action Step – Ensure students and staff take an active role shaping their learning using rich, authentic questions, problems they identify, and diverse resources.

Indicator of Success – Student voice will have the power to impact the perceptions of others.

Last week, a group of GEMS Middle school students participated in the Youth International Environmental Conference. You can read more about their experience here. During the conference, students were able to meet several international partners to discuss how they can impact global environmental issues. Among these collaborators, was conservationist, Zhuo Qiang, who prefers the name Simba, the Swahili word for lion, in honor of the work his does to protect the lion species. Simba is an environmental leader based in Kenya, that founded the Mara Conservation Fund (MCF) in 2011 in order to help Africa protect its wildlife habitat and endangered wildlife species. To learn more about his work have a look at the MCF Facebook page.


After Simba shared his story, students were then able to join him in a roundtable discussion on how GEMS students could contribute to the Mara Conservation through creating a game to increase awareness. Students began to work on ways to take iPad technology and incorporate it into a useful tool to help promote wildlife conservation. Seeing the importance of his story, students then invited SImba to visit with all of the middle school students at GEMS.


Simba was able to share his story at GEMS on the importance of raising awareness about the need to engage in conservation of lions and wildlife in Kenya. He explained how he has dedicated his life to a joint initiative to oppose poaching, illegal wildlife trade and trophy hunting in an attempt to preserve wildlife in Africa.


After meeting SImba, GEMS students were energized with the knowledge of ways they too can help with conservation efforts. They are ready to take the lead to save wildlife habitats and make the world a better place.

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