Post3:A Weekend in Cambridge and Brighton
After a busy first week, the weekend was upon us. On Saturday, students had free time to explore Cambridge, start work on their documentary videos, or catch up on their own personal projects. On Sunday, we visited the seaside town of Brighton.
Listening to students, I got the impression that on Saturday, many had started some work on their documentary projects. For the project, in small groups or pairs, students choose an area of interest in Cambridge and will make a short introductory video about the place and also interview someone – a local person or tourist – about the area. When we return to Japan, they will edit these together to create a video that will introduce Cambridge to the students who will join the March Cambridge program next year. They have chosen some interesting topics and I’m looking forward to seeing the result.
On Sunday, we arrived at Bell School at 8am and took a coach to Brighton. It was about a two-hour journey. The weather in Brighton wasn’t great, but it didn’t rain so that was good. We started with a trip to the Sealife Centre. Unfortunately, the shark and stingray area are closed off for renovation, but everyone still got to see some interesting sea life. After the Sealife Centre, we went to the Royal Pavilion – a palace built by King George IV. George was an interesting king who spent money without thinking, but as a result, created and left behind an interesting building with unique and interesting artwork, decorations, furniture, and history. When we finished here, it was then time for lunch – fish and chips for most – and some free time going around the shops, relaxing on the beach, or enjoying time on the pier at the game centre and theme park.
Starting on Monday, students will be introduced to the big project for this week. On Friday, they will be putting on a marketing fair with ideas that will help make the world more sustainable and eco-friendly by addressing the issues of one-use items. I’m excited to see the creativity in the groups and the array of ideas they come up with.
The start of the second week! Time always goes quickly in the second week, so hopefully, everyone has made their plans for this week and how they hope to spend their time.
To start their Monday morning, students had a few games and activities that drew their attention to some single-use products that most use on a regular basis. The issues around these were then introduced, and they watched a video of the inventor of ‘Pokito’ describing his story and how he came to think more about these environmental and waste problems and their effects on the planet.
The video gave an interesting perspective on the reality of recycling and how it is not as easy or effective as we might think. It’s these issues that show that we need to move more towards reusable products. This became the start of the students’ week-long project. They will think about their daily life and design a product that can help replace the single-use, throw-away culture we have today.
The next lesson was about brainstorming. Students had to think through their daily lives, the daily routines of their parents, business people, and other groups, and identify an area they could make the focus of their innovation. It was interesting to see how diverse the students’ first ideas were. But from now, the real work will start. After they decide the idea they will work on, they will start making their marketing campaign.
At the end of this week, the groups will put on a marketing fair where they will try to push their products and ideas. The inventor of ‘Pokito’ will listen to their presentations in the morning and give them some last-minute advice. After that, teachers and students from Bell school will come to the marketing fair and Kaetsu students will have to get their attention and try to sell their products. The Bell students and teachers will then vote on which product or idea they think would be the most successful.
On Tuesday, students carried on with their projects in the morning then did some mindfulness exercises in the afternoon. Later on, many of our boys were playing soccer with other Bell students. When I came over at around 6pm, it was Kaetsu vs Bell School, and from what I saw, Kaetsu did very well.
Over the next few days, it’s going to be busy and students have to remain focused and organized to get everything done. I wish them the best of luck and look forward to seeing the final presentations on Friday, and in the next few years, seeing their products appearing in shops around the world 🙂