Students had no outside assistance from their teachers and had just three weeks to finalise their prototypes and demonstration models. Image Credit: Supplied

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Dubai: Stopping water wastage on campus, security against intruders at school and a model car for land, sea and air travel were among ideas by student teams under the ‘STREAMability’ programme at GEMS Education schools in the UAE.

Twelve GEMS schools have took part in the new initiative based on finding innovative solutions to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, carried out by five-strong teams of students of varying abilities.

STREAMability teams recently presented their ideas at GEMS Legacy School (GLS) to an audience of fellow students, parents and educators. Each school team included “children of exceptional ability, slower learners, as well as children of determination”. The teams had no outside assistance from their teachers and had just three weeks to finalise their prototypes and demonstration models.

Ranjani Ramnath, Curriculum and Research Developer, GLS, said: “STREAMability has brought together students of various levels of ability to work together in collaboration, mirroring the society they are getting prepared for, giving recognition to those children, and celebrating inclusivity in all its forms. We hope to see that such practices will be taken forward in each of the participating schools.”

GEMS Winchester School – Dubai (WSD) produced a system for recycling wastewater (aptly named ‘No Money Down the Drain’) from children washing their hands, which they calculated amounted to many thousands of litres every day at their school alone.

Alisha Kadri, who is in Year 9 at WSD, said: “We have seen many such systems, but nobody has thought of introducing this to our schools. Just think how much water can be recycled across all the schools in Dubai and the UAE. We really would love to see it implemented in our school first.”

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Collaborative practices

STREAMability is the latest initiative of the GEMS Global Ambassadors Society, which represents some 30 member schools across the GEMS network. It was formed to share best collaborative practices by twinning with schools both locally and internationally, and to collectively work on projects that further the UN’s SDGs.

In the last 12 months alone, the society’s projects have included planting more than 40,000 trees (‘Plant a Legacy’) across 42 countries, ‘Plogging’ sessions (collecting waste while exercising) across five UAE beaches and working with UK author Alan Hesse to publish a comic picture cookbook of healthy food recipes.