Global Issues Students will Confront


This year’s topics in Global Studies were selected to prepare students not just for high school but for their futures as global citizens in an increasingly interconnected and complicated world. Units have addressed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, legacies of colonialism in Africa and the relevance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In our final month – with a geographic focus on Asia – students are investigating current issues in China, India and North Korea. These three countries were selected based on their global influence, their relevance in U.S. relations and the likelihood that they will continue to feature prominently in coming decades.

Below are the essential questions students are exploring. They will present their findings in a variety of formats: creative performances, graphic art, detailed report cards, interactive lessons, essays, and Powerpoint presentations.

Parker and Reese: What is China’s government doing to improve their record on LGBTQ+ rights?

Alexa and Kyla: What are the effects of removing the 1-child policy on China’s population?

Ally:How far will China have to go to reverse the damage they’ve done to the environment?

Rose: China has some of the world’s highest air pollution. What are they doing to mitigate it, and what are the laws’ effects on China’s population?

Sumeya and Claire: How does China’s Social Credit system impact those deemed “untrustworthy” by the government and help create a class divide?

Mia and Chloe: A lot of people are abused and sexually harassed in India; what is the government doing to prevent this abuse?

Zola: How is the Indian government repressing the press in India and what are the impacts on reporting?

Eva: How will India be able to support its growing population with its lack of water?

Lola: Why have the non-communicable diseases in India become more deadly than the infectious diseases?

Red: How does N. Korea’s nuclear capability affect the United States?

Georgia and Nola: How is North Korea’s lack of human rights impacting its citizens?

Dylan and Ava L: North Korea censors their news and Internet access; what are the benefits and negative impacts of doing so?

Ava K & Luna: How has the social credit system in China affected the country’s residents?

Izzy: What is China doing to reduce its pollution, and have these efforts been successful?

Margot and Aislin: How are women being discriminated against in China, and are there efforts to address this?

Sada: How does censorship in North Korea affect the citizens?

Drew:: How was North Korea able to acquire nuclear capability?

Adriana and Grace: How does the issue of North Korea’s extremist views and nuclear capability affect the safety of the world population?

Brooklyn and Lucy: How are human rights abuses in North Korea affecting the human population?

Delaney and Zoe: Why are non-communicable diseases now the biggest threats to the population of India?

Sadie: What impacts are being felt by India’s population regarding the Aadhaar surveillance system?

Faith and Karina: How is India’s government responding to high levels of gender based violence?

Ada: Is freedom of speech declining in India, and how is Modi’s government cracking down on journalists?

Lorelei and Erica: How are India, China and North Korea policing their citizens and violating their human rights?

As you can see, these topics demand deep critical thinking and thoughtful research to answer. Be sure to ask the student(s) in your world about what is going on in theirs!

Finally, another issue that will impact all of us in coming decades is trash! Our 7th and 8th grade students – as part of our Global Classroom relationship with the World Affairs Council – have been invited to screen for free the documentary: Albatross, by local filmmaker and activist Chris Jordan. This will take place June 4 from 6:30 – 8:30 at Ingraham High School, 1819 N 135th Street in Seattle. The screening follows a 1-hour workshop for educators that Wendy will be attending.  Students can register here:

Math- Systems of Equations Vacation Project & Dear Data

Systems of Equations- Vacation Project

This week in math we are wrapping up our unit on systems of equations, or finding out when two lines intersect. How is this useful in everyday life, you might ask? We actually use systems of equations ALL THE TIME to compare costs and prices of various things, for example cell phone pricing, rates of services, etc. Students are wrapping up the unit by doing a Vacation Project where they compare two trips to destinations they choose, factoring out the total cost of round trip airfare and hotel costs per night. They are exploring how many nights they plan to stay on their vacation and when the two trips will cost the same, using a visual graph, an equation and a written summary of their findings. Once they determine the pricing options for various nights, they choose which trip they prefer to go on and for how many nights and write their reasoning for their decision. This project is solidifying their understanding of solving equations and uses the (SOE) methods they’ve been learning in math recently.

Here are some student examples:

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Dear Data

Students also completed their Round 5 Dear Data cards last week. Category topics were: worries, greetings/farewells, and questions! They continue to do such a good job of using their artistic expression and data visualization skills to create beautiful and complex cards.  Here are some examples:


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Tinkercad and App Lab

As part of their Idea Incubator project, students are learning how to design and code apps and 3D designs of their own using the online’s App Lab and Tinkercad tutorials and programs!  Check out the images below for some examples, and ask your 8th grader for even more!

App Lab

Tinkercad | Create 3D digital designs with online CAD

Tinkercad is an easy-to-use 3D CAD design tool. Quickly turn your idea into a CAD model for a 3D printer with Tinkercad.

Tinkercad examples



Idea Incubator

Science this year is wrapping up with a creative project called, Idea Incubator. This project is an eight-week session that requires students to come up with a unique invention or innovative idea that has the potential to positively influence the world. Students are working through many iterations to clarify their ideas, improve on their prototypes, and perfect their proposals. They build prototypes ranging from coded apps and websites to 3D printed models.  They will then pitch their idea to a panel of entrepreneurs and scientists at the annual Idea Incubator Business Breakfast. Throughout this unit, students worked through the Engineering Design Cycle, including using prototyping and feedback to improve on their ideas

This week, students examined Poorly Designed Products for homework, coming up with ideas to improve current products they find frustrating. One student had an idea to create new sounds (including a silent option) on the microwave. Another suggested a toaster with a slow rise, instead of a scary “pop” when the toast is done.  In class we took a look at User-Centered Design. Students tried to get “in the head” of another user and design a product for that person, given their needs and wants. Next week, students will be researching their ideas for any competing products or apps and will then narrow their ideas down to two, and will then do Focus Group Testing on those two ideas and present their data to make the case for their final design.

The Idea Incubator Breakfast will take place at Seattle Girls’ School on Tuesday, June 12th from 8:45-10:15 AM. We are recruiting entrepreneurs, engineers, and business leaders to participate.  The students will be pitching their unique inventions, apps, websites, business plans, and innovative ideas to you, looking for feedback and support (just like theTV show, “Shark Tank”). Please let Ms. D know if you can attend.

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