Lake Mary middle school students look at ways to solve world hunger

Project is part of UNICEF’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals

LAKE MARY, Fla. – Middle school students are using an interdisciplinary approach to solving major world problems.

Sixth and seventh graders at Lake Mary Preparatory School will present their projects on world hunger in a showcase on Dec. 14.

“We have a very holistic inquiry approach. We have a whole child approach in lower school and we really try to give students as many authentic opportunities to demonstrate their learning,” said Jamie Schoenberger, Director of Learning Design, Development, and Innovation. “They take all of these concepts they’ve learned in their content classes, and now they get to just think and solve and create and workshop in this time. So it really is that blend. You’re not just learning one subject area at a time. To solve a problem like this, it’s going to take everything you’ve learned. It’s going to take everything you’ve got.”

Schoenberger said the project is part of UNICEF’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Number two is ending world hunger.

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“We started with a launch event of watching ‘A Place at the Table,’ which is a documentary from 2012 on the issue of hunger in the community. It’s a very complex issue. So these questions of should access to nutritional food be a right is something that’s very poignant to a seventh grader in a civics course. Looking at hunger in ancient civilizations where they’re looking at agriculture as the dawn of civilization and what did it look like to be agriculturally healthy then and now and what does it look like to not be healthy then and now has been a big connecting point for them,” Schoenberger said.

Social studies teacher Stephanie Black said the students’ main objective is raising awareness about hunger in Central Florida.

“When they feel that they have a voice and we’re looking to them for the solution. We’re not giving them the answer, we’re expecting them to come up with the answer. That puts the pressure and the power on them and you see a whole different side start to emerge. It energizes me, and it gives me a vantage point on who these children are as humans, what are they capable of outside the four walls of my room?” Black said.

Black said the projects include children’s books, musical performances, and photo collages.

Students will present their projects on Dec. 14. The event is limited to families of Lake Mary Perpaory School students. The cost of admission is a food item, which will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

To learn more about Lake Mary Preparatory School, click here.

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About the Author:

Julie Broughton's career in Central Florida has spanned more than 14 years, starting with News 6 as a meteorologist and now anchoring newscasts.