I believe the world’s a more interesting place when people reject convention in favour of what they care about. This is us putting that idea to test: one budget spreadsheet, one diving site to choose, seeking to perform six dives and one goal in mind – to do our part in marine, coral reef, and shark conservation.
As a part of their creativity, activity, and service (CAS) studies, students of Jayshree Periwal International School (JPIS) went to Koh Racha Yai, Phuket, Thailand, and returned with two Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) certifications (PADI aware coral reef project and PADI open water diving).
Diving is the human race’s attempt to know marine life better, but with a purpose: to help endangered species and coral reefs thrive. On a mission to explore what covers 71 % of the earth’s surface every year, JPIS takes students on trips to know the world under our feet better.
From choosing the diving site to interacting with divers from different cultures, we understood the importance of budgeting and minimizing costs. We also took this opportunity to learn more about Buddhism, as a culture, and read books to fully immerse ourselves in the experience.
This is one of the few times you can see animals in their natural habitat: authentic and unfiltered. You leave your to-do lists behind and are floating suspended above a stunning reef teeming with life and colors you’ve never seen before. The underwater world is magical—a place where the sound of silence isn’t solitary but comforting.
It’s not only about the adrenaline rush that comes with jumping off the boat, but also the sense of belongingness you develop towards marine life. The beauty of scuba diving is that it brings you closer to nature. Once you swim in the clear incredible blue waters, you are left with a passion to safeguard marine life.
Inspired by what the marine conservationists talked about and by engaging with marine life ourselves, students were inspired to create positive change.
Two student divers are creating a mechanism to extract microplastics from the ocean with the use of advanced technology. Another student has gone ahead and filed a patent on how we can use drones to clean marine debris. Many students have incorporated their learnings as their Internal Assessment (IA) topics.
For me, diving deep in the ocean isn’t only about the dive but also an epitome of how everything you don’t know is on the other side of fear, it’s about getting your curiosity to peak to a level that no matter how anxious something may make you feel for the first time – you still give it a shot.
Students were able to make connections to United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) and were able to understand how our choices affect the next generation. This integration between the UN SDGs and CAS experiential learning made us better able to understand global issues.
By visiting local Thai restaurants, we understood how discovering a new culture is more than just taking a picture.
We also visited the Big Buddha temple, and I felt another level of calmness and serenity. As Indians it was this cultural open-mindedness which allowed us to respect the monastery. We together grew this intercultural understanding and respect for communities.
We had to pass a swimming test three weeks before starting our course. Once we reached Phuket, we had our open water theory and pool sessions where we learned 49 skills. These skills prepared us for the six open water dives we had planned. As part of the conservation awareness project, JPIS adopted its own dive site and planted a coral reef, demonstrating its commitment to marine conservation in addition to becoming a scuba diver.
Dr. Love Trivedi is a highly experienced and knowledgeable Physics teacher with over a decade of IB teaching experience. As a Physics and Design Technology examiner, he brings a wealth of expertise to the classroom, fostering students’ deep understanding of the subject. His strong commitment to sustainability is reflected in his encouragement of students to think critically about the world around them and to take action to make a positive impact.