The third Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Taiwan was carried out on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The Chung-Ping Elementary School in Taoyuan City was the main co-organizer of the Academy. Nine elementary schools in Taoyuan were invited to send students to this Academy. All the nine schools are members of the “Warmth and Dream Community”, which aims to support children from disadvantaged families in Taoyuan. Adhering to the objective of Academy to eliminate Climate Justice through education, GIGABYTE hopes to provide opportunities for these underprivileged children to learn and cope with climate crises that are also threatening their future.
We want to thank GIGABYTE Technology and GIGABYTE Education Foundation, the main organizers of the Academies in Taiwan. They already empowered 200 children in Taiwan to become Climate Justice Ambassadors. Besides the great support from the Taoyuan Chung-Ping Elementary School, this Academy also received great support from the Department of Education of Taoyuan City Government, Department of Information Management & Graduate of Kainan University, Graduate Institute of Business Administration of National Chengchi University, as well as Taoyuan Sustainable Development and Environmental Education Counseling Groups. Special thanks are made to the 27 student volunteers from Kainan University, National Chengchi University, and National Central University. They voluntarily served as co-moderators and staff assistance in hosting the activities, running administrative errands, and helping record the event through photographs. Special thanks go to the Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation, as well as Hsiang-Yin Wang (Shine) for moderating the whole Academy together.
Brief openings words were given by five VIPs at the opening ceremony: Mr. Rolance CHU, director of Sustainable Development Office of GIGABYTE, Mr. Yin-Kuei LAI, General Secretary of Department of Education of Taoyuan City Government, Mr. Yun-Chieh LIU, President of Taoyuan Chung-Ping Elementary School, Prof. Tsai Chi KUO, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering of Chung Yuan Christian university, Prof. Chen-Hsiung Arthur CHEN, Department of Information Management & Graduate of Kainan University. Moreover, the presidents of Shimen Elementary School, Ke-Jian Elementary School, Shan Da Elementary School, Luenping Elementary School, Chung Yaun Elementary School and Shandong Elementary School also attended the ceremony. These schools are all members of the “Warmth and Dream Community” in Taoyuan.
After the welcome speeches, the full attention of the children turned to a presentation "Now We Children Save the World!" given by 11-year-old Climate Justice Ambassador Ming-Yueh Lee. His well-founded background knowledge about the Climate Crisis enabled him to give a remarkable speech to the audience.
For the following part, the children were divided into small groups, to learn about global distribution and global justice in the so-called “World Game”. They were first asked to spread tokens on a world map to show what they thought about the distribution of global population, wealth and CO2 emission in the world. The tokens symbolized population, wealth and CO2 emissions were bottle caps, milk caramels and chocolate candies. Bottle caps are one of the most common types of human-made waste that is also very harmful to the environment. The sweet milk caramels conjure a feeling of happiness and gratification to most people. Normally people believed that being richer makes you happier. Therefore, milk caramels were used to symbolize wealth. The chocolates, symbolizing CO2 emissions, were made from cocoa. Cocoa trees are actually one of the typical cash crops that lead to large-scale deforestations around the world. After the game, children has learnt nine types of climate-related impacts that were already influencing people all around the world.
The last section in the morning, Rhetoric Training, were led by moderator Shine. Afterwards, with co-moderators‘ assistance, children shared their opinions on the elements of a good speech and what disadvantages an unskillful speaker would have. Co-moderators and other children also gave feedbacks to his/her performance in order to improve his/her skill in presentation next time. Some children performed very well, and some viewed it as a great challenge. Even so, with patient guidance by moderators and co-moderators, every child accomplished the mission eventually.
After lunch and a break, children gathered at the front garden of Chung-Ping Elementary School. They were assigned a very important task—planting 102 plants of “Golden Dewdrop” on the campus. The principal of Chung-Ping Elementary School, Mr. Yun-Chieh LIU and the master of a local seedling company taught the children how to plant trees. For some children, this was their very first time touching the soil with own hands.
After tree planting, the Academy proceeded to World Café and Work in School Group. Children worked in groups and brainstormed on how to motivate parents, teachers, other children, media and politicians to join a climate action initiated by them. They also discussed how to organize a tree planting event. Then, children were regrouped by the school, so that they could draw up an action plan with peers from the same school. They wrote their plans on paper posters, so that they could present the poster to adults at the final presentation.
While children were working on the school action plans, the 10 children selected from Rhetoric Training in the morning moved to a separate classroom. Led by moderator Yi-Fen and Shine, they practiced to give the Climate Justic Ambassador Speech at the evening presentation. These 10 children worked together perfectly just like having been as a team for a long time.
The most exciting part of the Academy ‘Evening Presentation’ was kicked off by moderator Shine. She invited the 10 presenters to come on to the stage and give the speech “Now We Children Save the World!" in relays. Each of them successfully completed their own part on stage. A presenter from Chung-Ping even asked a question directly to his principal: “shall we plant more trees?”
After the presentation, children from each school came on to the stage respectively to present their action plans. In addition to planting more trees, their actions also included removing waste on campus, calling on more teachers and parents to join their actions through presentation, releasing their idea to the public through social media, etc. Most schools planned a relatively detailed schedule for their action plans. Particularly the children from Toujou Elementary School planned to carry out their action on the day of the school festival, which will be held just few weeks after the Academy.
Finally, moderator Yi-Fen summed up the evening presentation and also explained what children had learned from the six modules of Academy to other adults.
After a long, eventful, and enjoyable day, 92 children received Climate Justice Ambassador certificates from Mr. Rolance CHU of GIGABYTE and Principal Yun-Chieh LIU of Chung-Ping Elementary School. Also, each participant received a book “Tree-by-Tree”, a special guide for Climate Justice Ambassadors. Finally, all participants, moderators and co-moderators, and staffs took a group photo to celebrate the success of the third Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Taiwan. Everyone looked forward to the next Academy, which was expected to be carried out in the second quarter of 2019.
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