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MYP projects tackle real world problems

Two students at DPS International School, in Gurgaon, India, aim to resolve burning issues

Many refugees flee their home country in the hope of living a better life, but can sometimes end up in a dire situations; living in tattered tents that offer little protection and limited or no access to running water or electricity.

That’s why Rashed Nessar created Foldable Emergency Shelters – 3D printed portable homes/shelters for refugees, made of durable and recyclable High-Density-Polyethylene (HDPE). Rashed, originally from Afghanistan and a Middle Years Programme (MYP) student at DPS International School, in India, had been looking for a solution for the refugee problems existing in his country and felt a personal obligation to help with the ongoing Syrian crisis.

“In the past few years, millions of people have been displaced from their homes and are seeking refuge elsewhere. My project helped me realize that millions of men, women and children make life-altering choices and, for millions, that choice is made for them,” says Rasheed.

Rashed’s project provides plans for a foldable system of housing that provides a better alternative to current shelters. The rigid and anchored structures are more sustainable, safer and better temporary solutions.

He says: ‘The opportunity to innovate and invent for the purpose of helping a group of people was an unforgettable learning experience. I developed skills that go well beyond the realm of subject-specific learning.”

A second personal project addressed the global food crisis. MYP student Tashvi Anand created a fully sustainable, zero budget, natural farm. She grew a range of vegetables using only natural resources, and encouraged the local community to do the same.

Tashvi became inspired after attending a workshop on terrace farming, detailing how to naturally grow vegetables. “Farming is something that a lot of people do, but I wanted to take this forward by making my farm a fully natural and completely sustainable, using traditional Indian techniques of farming, and one that uses readily available means and does not need any capital investment.

“Throughout the project, I demonstrated my thinking and communication skills. I had to communicate with the local farmers and speak to them in Hindi, and also understand their dialect.”

The personal project may be over, but Tashvi will continue in her pursuit of natural farming and continue to educate those around her.

“I plan on creating my own blog and Facebook page, which will contain weekly articles and posts about different techniques I am using for my farm, or things I have researched that can benefit others. The Facebook page will also contain weekly updates from the farm about its progress, and followers can contact me about natural farming.”

Both the students feel that their personal projects enabled them to demonstrate the IB learner profile attributes: risk-taker, thinker and caring.

MYP Co-ordinator Kanchan Misra, says: “Both students got an opportunity to get out of their comfort zone and be sensitive to world issues relating to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“The passion and approach with which these students have been taking these issues forward, which are real-life problems, created an indelible impression on me.”

This article is part of a series of stories from IB World magazine that bring to life the wonderful initiatives undertaken by IB students and educators from around the globe. Follow these stories on Twitter @IBorganization #IBcommunitystories. Share your great stories and experiences: email