22 Nov, 2019
10 : 00
Earlier this month, Secondary School students from Yew Chung International School of Beijing joined their counterparts from other famous International Schools in the city for an afternoon of “Into the Wild: Conversations with Jane Goodall” at Keystone Academy.
The purpose of the event was for students to showcase to renowned primatologist and conservationist, Dr Jane Goodall DBE projects they were involved in in their schools’ Roots and Shoots clubs in previous years to raise awareness for conservation-related issues faced by communities around the world.
For over 55 years, Dr Goodall dedicated her life to groundbreaking research studying chimpanzees in Tanzania, their behaviour and an urgent need to protect these primates from extinction. Her work over the years has extended to focusing on nature conservation which influenced the founding of Roots and Shoots, an organisation dedicated to encouraging the youth to take an active stand in ensuring the safekeeping of our planet and its inhabitants.
Since 2013, students at YCIS Beijing have been advocates for nature and animal conservation through numerous Roots and Shoots projects which they presented to Dr Goodall on the day, “It was different project ideas including the biodegradable containers at the school cafeteria in an effort to reduce the use of single-use plastic, straws and other materials”, explained Prachi Gupta, Y12-13 Learning Community Leader.
Some of the highlights from the event for our students was the passion with which she spoke about her work “It was interesting how she was talking about her career. It was very inspirational. She also gave us the motivation to know that we can do something about this environmental and extinction problem” said Kaiyou Namai, Y12.
For ChenAn Lee from Y11, what she learned was a lesson in tenacity. “She represents what you can do, even when you start with nothing - how you can build on what you have, to become whatever you want to be. Even for things that look impossible, she showed us that it is” Lee recalled.
Nicole Patridge, on the other hand, had the honour to meet and interact with Dr Goodall, when she presented the YCIS Beijing Roots and Shoots project, an experience she did not imagine she would have. “That was a pretty big highlight for me,” she said, “We know a lot about her, but when I heard that I’ve got the chance to interview her, I knew I had to. I never really thought about how nerve-wracking that would be, but I was grateful for the opportunity” concluded the Y12 student.
Some students who are also members of our school's Roots and Shoots society have taken Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) as an additional course to learn more about the effects of environmental changes, and to raise awareness about environmental concerns. “And one of our students, Chloe Sandifer-Stech went and studied a degree in Earth and Environmental Science” said Miss Gupta.
By including courses like ESS to our curriculum, students are actively given the option and opportunity to play their part in addressing issues relating to the environment. The R&S club will keep going on. They will continue organising events and take part in initiatives that seek to raise awareness around the school, setting an example and passing the baton to their younger counterparts
Images courtesy of Andrew, Y12 Student.