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Global Sustainability Project 2012 - 2013
The Picerne Family Foundation has embarked on the second year of a three-year pilot program, the Global Sustainability Projectin collaboration with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach, California and the Earthwatch Institute. The Foundation is supporting an intensive educational and experiential stateside program in addition to providing scholarships for nine students and one teacher to participate in a 12-day field expedition to South Africa. Students are aiding research scientists studying ecological sustainability among Africa’s wildlife, particularly hyenas and other scavengers.
There is increasing recognition and acceptance that greater international cross-cultural understanding is necessary for global ecological sustainability. Ecological threats do not stop and start at national borders. It is the goal of this project to provide students who have evidenced the potential to be future leaders the opportunity to increase their understanding of other cultures as well as their role in ecological sustainability, both locally and internationally.
II. The Global Sustainability Project (GSP)
There are three parts to the GSP program.
1. Applied research.
Students will focus their IB extended essay on an aspect of the country they will be doing volunteer work in that interests them. In this way students will gain greater depth of knowledge and understanding of the art, culture, politics, history, science or ecology of the country they are to visit. The intent is to make their volunteer overseas experience personally impactful and meaningful.
2. Overseas expedition.
During the summer, students participate in a 12-day international conservation volunteer program conducted by the Earthwatch Institute. The field experience will provide students the opportunity to do actual scientific data gathering in a field setting as well as immerse them in another culture. In order to reinforce learning in the moment and insure follow-up when the students are back in school, a teacher from the school accompanies the teens on the expedition.
During their senior year, these students design and initiate an ecological sustainability project in their community. The projects are innovative, outcome oriented and sustainable. This project fulfills the objectives of the IB Creativity, Action, Service program. In this way students have the opportunity to apply the learning and experience they have gained in a way that benefits others.
This three part program designed by the Foundation is unique for American high school students. It is a first of its kind for the Earthwatch Institute and the International Baccalaureate Educational Foundation. The Picerne Family Foundation is thoroughly evaluating the short and long-term value and impact of the program on the participants as well as the potential for replicability of the program.
III. Organizational Collaboration
The Picerne Family Foundation. As an operating foundation, KAPF provides overall and ongoing leadership, management and financial support of the program. The Foundation has invited the International Baccalaureate program at Ocean View High School to lead and oversee the stateside research and service program. The Foundation has engaged the Earthwatch Institute to organize and manage the overseas tour.
International Baccalaureate Program
(ibo.org) The IB Diploma program began in Switzerland in 1968. It has become a well-regarded rigorous academic, action learning and reflective program. The mission of the IB program is: To develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. IB Diploma students write a research paper, take specific advanced courses as well as participate in extensive personal development, experiential learning and community service. The program is known for producing open-minded, caring, critical thinkers, who are active leaders. The IB program provides solid institutional support for the educational component of the GSP program.
Earthwatch Institute (Earthwatch.org) Earthwatch is a nonprofit organization that has been supporting field research scientists all over the world for over 40 years. They are funded by grants as well as by adult and teen volunteers who take one to two week expeditions to international research sites to assist data gathering by scientists. Earthwatch is particularly well suited to provide the infrastructure and resources needed for an international program for teenagers. It has been named the #1 educational ecotourism organization by National Geographic.
V. Beyond the Pilot Project
After the first two years of the three year pilot program at Ocean View High School, KAPF will expand the GSP to another high school in Orange County. It is the ultimate goal of the Foundation to create a model that is easily replicable and to make that model available to other schools and funders. The partnerships with Earthwatch Institute and the International Baccalaureate Program will enable the Foundation to readily test this model and source other interested parties.