During the week of 15 November, SHBS students embarked on a range of intensive inquiry- and project-based learning programs that take them out of traditional classrooms and into the amazing city they call home. For this second year of Building Shanghai, the program theme is sustainability：what’s required to confront our global climate emergency to continue thriving in the future.
Every group explored an essential aspect of Shanghai’s economy and culture, with a focus on how innovation, conservation, and adaptation can address pressing environmental concerns—with topics including Ecological Diversity, Sustainable Fashion, Modern Agriculture and Organic Agriculture, Green Energy, The Fate of Garbage, Hospitality and Tourism, Environmental Ethics of Art, and The Cost of Money: can e-currency be green?
Let’s take a look at the what the Low-carbon Campus group did.
Global climate change has become the most serious challenge faced by mankind in the 21st century and also the focus of the international community. In 2018, the "1.5℃ Special Report"released by IPCC showed that the global temperature would rise to 1.5℃ above pre-industrial level by as early as 2030, which will be the critical point for causing extreme natural disasters around the world.
The Paris Agreement aims for the world to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. As one of the world's largest carbon dioxide emitters, China also attaches great importance to tackling climate change. On September 22, 2020, at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, our President announced "As China is stepping up its intended nationally determined contributions, we will do all we can to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 by adopting more effective policies and measures ".
SHBS attaches great importance to the cultivation of students' environmental awareness, and we also teach students how to reduce the consumption of resources as well as how to avoid doing harm to the environment on campus. In doing this year’s Building Sustainable Shanghai project, our group chose to survey the resource consumption from all aspects of campus life so that we may build a more low-carbon, energy-saving and environmentally friendly campus environment. After a week of research, students in the low-carbon campus group selected two sub-projects for in-depth research -- photovoltaic power generation and roof greening & rainwater recycling system, and put forward detailed project proposals.
On the first day of the “Building Shanghai week”, low-carbon campus group attended a lecture given by principal Jin on the background information of the new energy and carbon neutral. Then, Ms. Chuman Lin let us know what our group was aimed at, and our itinerary and schedule. By assigning students reading materials on campus cases of low-carbon practices, she instructed them to work out 6 sub-project groups through brainstorming: l.roof greening + rainwater recycling system; II. Set up photovoltaic facilities for power generation; III improve the press faucet; IV. Campus glass room renovation; V. Air conditioning automation; VI. Green planting and cultivation on the roof of the glass lounge. On the afternoon of the first day, the six students who proposed their own projects stepped on the platform one by one, explained their ideas and answered questions. Eventually, the Photovoltaic and rooftop plants group won. After joining the two projects respectively, students began to search for information and devising detailed solutions.
On the morning of the second day, all the group members visited the MEB plant of SAIC-Volkswagen and Jieqing Technology Co., Ltd. to learn about the development and production process of SAIC-Volkswagen new energy vehicles. We also visited the magnificent long- mechanical-arm assembly workshop, and learned about the principle and industrial development of new energy storage batteries. Students expected to draw inspirations on their project designs from this field trip and conversations with experts in the field of new energy. Later that afternoon, students continued to discuss and conceive their project plans, and began to write plans on how to implement their plans. The roof planting team even climbed onto the roof of the building to survey data, and the PHOTOVOLTAIC team collected relevant data ranging from the school's monthly and annual electricity bill to the school's building plan.
On the third day and the fourth day, the low-carbon campus group invited an energy-saving building designer and a photovoltaic industrial engineer respectively to share professional knowledge and industrial development with the kids, and gave some instructions on the their project plans.
By the end of the fourth day, the two project teams had completed the specific plans and began to prepare for their presentations. On Friday, they gave a total of 4 presentations, divided into speeches in both English and Chinese. Those speakers confidently and elegantly presented their ideas, and feasibility of their sustainable development projects to students, teachers, parents and other guests. At the end of the presentations, the guests praised the students for their highly professional research work, and their ability to seek truth from facts by confronting the pressing concerns of the times, to explore sustainable development, and commit themselves to truly building a low-carbon community.
While the Building Shanghai week was over, students would keep improving their projects. They have already submitted their plans for improvement to the school council for further feasibility study of implementation in the school. Students will also continue their research and consider participating in CTB and other competitions based on this project.
Through the week-long project-based learning activities, they are more likely to think of the concept of “sustainable development”in their daily life. They are also more aware of the connection between what they are learning and the real-world problems, and more aware of the responsibilities that the time has placed on their shoulders. Real learning and transformation occur through experience and practice. On the last day of the week, we realized the great value and significance of the "Build Shanghai" programs when students presented their achievements with confidence and enthusiasm.