The year 2019 concluded a decade of exceptional global heat and high impact weather. The last few months itself bore witness to horrifying events like the bushfires in Australia, groundwater drying up in Chennai, and the lowest Arctic sea-ice extents. But this past decade also showed us the power that young people possess to change the world for better. In that spirit, the students of Grade 6 and 7 at Pathways School Noida, took it upon themselves to speak out and take action on climate change at the annual Form Day event organized on Feb 8th, 2020.
Over the last few months, the students explored various facets of climate change across subjects in their classroom- how it has impacted physical, biological and human systems - and stitched together their learning in the form of performances and an exhibition. Starting with a powerful rendition of Michael Jackson's 'The Earth Song', the show featured a thought-provoking TED-style talk on 'The Acidification of our Ecosystem', followed by a mesmerizing Daastangoi act, retelling the story of our treasured forests. The students also staged a captivating drama on the power of individual action to save the planet.
An exhibition of students' work and hard-hitting immersive installations were also featured at the event. A giant metal fish filled with plastic waste highlighted the crisis our oceans are facing. A 'Museum of Extinction' documented the five mass extinctions our planet has witnessed, and alerted visitors to how our race is accelerating towards the sixth. Emphasizing how technology can help fight climate change, a robot that was created in-house by the students to plant seeds was also showcased. There were live workshops held for creating sustainably designed T-shirts. Poetry-inspired art featuring a melting snowman and a dead tree made us ponder over what the future might look like if we do not mend our ways.
Acknowledging that the global response to climate change must address “climate literacy”, students made all visitors deep-dive into the climate change juggernaut. Our takeaway from the event? Stop testing the limits of the planet to find out how much more damage it can take, and, instead, come together to begin restoration and reversal.
The daylong event was an eye-opener for parents and visitors. Many parents said that they were rethinking their own life choices as a result of listening to the students. Visitors commended the school for holding an event which revolutionized the thinking of young people and adults alike