The Global Goals
- Grade 5
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An important quote that we learned this year is, "civilization is a race between education and catastrophe", by H.G. Wells.
Our grade 4/5 teacher always says that "in this class we move forward, not backward". The class across the hall is learning about the fur trade, and that's cool, but Mrs.Classen says we're the stewards of the new and upcoming world, and we have to educate ourselves to become the best adults possible.
For awhile now we've been learning about the United Nations' 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development that need to be achieved by the year 2030. This is an important year because the students in our class will be 21 and we'll have the right to vote and we'll have more responsibility to make change so that we can live in a better world, or on planet Earth at all. Many of the Global Goals have to do with social inequality, such as poverty, hunger, good health, good education, and gender equality. Social inequality means that all people don't have the same things that they need, and our class thinks it's not fair that it's not fair! Everyone should have the same human right to live in a fair and free world. But we need a healthy world to live in. We already learned that by 2024 there will be an entire colony on the moon so that astronauts can get closer to Mars to study it, just incase we all need to move there because we've destroyed our planet with climate change. That's why many of the other Global Goals have to do with protecting the Earth, such as clean water for everyone, climate action, and protecting life on land and life below water.
Some of us got really upset when our teacher told us that we probably all have microplastic inside our bodies that we get from the food we eat, especially seafood and shellfish. Microplastic is like confetti sized pieces of plastic that you can't even see. Plastic takes about 1000 years to completely go away, which is a problem for everyone. For instance, if someone throws their plastic water bottle in the ocean, it will eventually break down into microplastic and fish will accidentally eat it and have the plastic inside them. Then a bigger fish might eat that fish with the plastic inside it, and then the bigger fish gets plastic inside it too. This continues up the food chain until maybe that fish with plastic in it gets caught by a fisherman and a human ends up eating plastic too. Other forms of plastic on the beach and in the water cause all sorts of problems too. As an example, when plastic grocery store bags are in the ocean they look a lot like jellyfish, and when animals accidentally eat the plastic bags, they could die.
Most of the goals seem really big to even start working on, but we decided we could go and do a plastic cleanup along the shore of Centennial Beach. We not only found lots of plastic but glass bottles, empty cans, food wrappers, and cigarette butts. It made us feel really badly that people were disrespecting the beach so much.
The thing is that even though we cleaned up the beach, you can't just stop there. Mrs.Classen says, "watch less cat videos and use social media to make the Global Goals famous". That's another one of the important reasons that makes our generation special. We have technology and can get messages and education about things all around the world in only a few minutes. If we spread the news, other people will spread the news, and there is power in numbers because if you have a lot of people who believe in the same thing, then you can actually make change happen. Some of the students in our school are just starting to get social media, like Instagram, but most of the kids are too young, but it's important that they know too so that they can start thinking about saving our planet and making life better for the people who live here. We hadn't heard anything about The Global Goals before our teacher started teaching us about them, and none of the other kids in the school had heard anything about them either. We decided to make posters about The Global Goals and stick them all around the school. Then groups of us went to other classes to tell them about The Global Goals. Before it was just our class who knew about The Global Goals, and now there are lots of kids who know about them. It may be a small thing we did but it still helps and hopefully others will help too now that they know.
We're working on a new project now to teach kids in our school about poverty, which is Global Goal #1. We found out that 33 million kids in the world live in poverty. We couldn't even imagine that number of people so we had the idea to make 33 million dots on big pieces of paper and hang them all around the school so that people couldn't ignore them. We're up to almost 100,000 so we have a long way to go, but when people see us making the dots and putting the paper up everyday, then maybe they can get inspired too.