Fun game helps children learn about U.N. sustainable development goals

Shibaura Institute of Technology’s Department of Planning, Architecture and Environmental Systems held a “class to learn about SDGs in a fun way” at municipal Kurihashi Nishi Elementary School in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture, on May 11, 2019. The class, held as part of the department’s “Environmental Field Study” course, featured a game enrolled students planned and organized to teach children about the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs). Students exercised their ingenuity to make children interested in the subject by, for example, wearing hand-made monster masks when asking quiz questions.

The department is committed to helping achieve the set of development goals adopted by all U.N. member states in 2015. The class has been held since last academic year at the request of Kurihashi Nishi Elementary School, which is promoting education for sustainable development (ESD) with the aim of achieving the SDGs.

SIT students, mainly those from the Students’ Committee on SDGs, organized a game called “SDGs Great Adventure,” in which teams of “heroes” search for 17 “monsters” hiding inside the school building. After SIT students gave briefings on the SDGs, 13 teams comprised of SIT students, schoolchildren and their parents started the game in which they answered a question about a SDG whenever they found a monster played by a SIT student. If they gave the right answer, they received a sticker on a special sheet. Participants learned more about SDGs from the monsters, who explained the meaning of the 17 SDGs, as well as why certain answers were correct.

A joyous atmosphere engulfed the school as the team members, together with SIT students, happily searched for monsters and answered questions.

 

After the game, some children talked about their impressions of the activity. In his concluding remarks, Professor Takahiro Nakaguchi of the department told the children: “Students enrolled in the Department of Planning, Architecture and Environmental Systems are studying day after day to build toward an occupation that can help attain the 11th (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 13th (Climate Action) SDGs. I would be happy if you also chose a job that can help attain the 17 SDGs.”

After the class, officials from the elementary school and SIT shared information about their activities. The school detailed its endeavors to promote ESD and its curriculum management to that end. SIT students explained about activities and classes at their department.

Teachers from the school and officials of Kuki City’s Board of Education, who observed the class, said they want to continue this activity and spread it across the city.

 

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