Education, sustainability, and the power of project-based learning all come together at International School Bangkok (ISB) in our brand-new rooftop garden. High School (HS) students have been hard at work on a remarkable project: building and designing a community garden on the rooftop of the Multipurpose Building in the center of our campus. The design and construction of the rooftop was a collaborative effort of the HS Green Panthers club, HS Community Build club, HS Science Department, Building and Grounds Department, and ISB’s Chief Financial Officer, Marc De Vries.
Through hands-on experiences and real-world applications, this project-based learning initiative nurtured respect, care, creativity, and commitment among the students while fostering a sustainable business model. So, let's explore how students and teachers at ISB, one of the leading international schools in Bangkok, embraced project-based learning to create an inspiring and educational oasis.
Cultivating a Learning Oasis
At International School Bangkok, our world-class teachers build experiential learning opportunities that foster global citizenship and enrich communities. Within this context, the Green Panthers, a passionate student-led club dedicated to sustainability and eco-conscious practices, took the lead in transforming a vision into reality. Their project-based learning journey involved designing, building, and managing a community garden at ISB, where high school students would engage in science class projects and cultivate entrepreneurial skills.
Respect and Care: Nurturing a Sustainable Haven
Our students demonstrated immense respect and care for the environment throughout their community garden project at ISB. They conducted extensive research on sustainable practices, collaborating with experts and exploring eco-friendly techniques. The irrigation system is solar powered and the plants are not only locally sourced but raised according to organic practices. Their commitment showcases responsible environmental stewardship creating a garden that would flourish harmoniously.
Creativity: Cultivating Ingenuity and Beauty
Students unleashed their creativity to design a visually stunning and highly functional community garden at ISB. Working closely with science teachers and ISB’s Building and Grounds team, the students explored various concepts, considering factors such as space utilization, aesthetic appeal, and practicality. The Community Build Club, also known as the Design and Technology Club, was instrumental in the design, prototyping, revision, and eventual construction of the planter boxes and trellises.
The innovative ideas of our students have led to the development of unique garden beds and watering systems. Beyond the visual appeal, some of the planter beds will also serve as valuable research spaces as they will have individual greenhouses installed on top. This will allow the Middle School and High School Science Departments to control for environmental factors (sun, rain, pests, etc.) and use the garden as a viable research space for curricular topics, as well as IB Science Internal Assessment and IB Extended Essay data collection.
Commitment: Sowing Seeds of Responsibility and Ownership
All the students demonstrated commitment to their project, infusing it with dedication and hard work even when challenges arose - acknowledging and learning from them along the way. With a strong sense of responsibility, they took ownership of every aspect of the community garden's development. From physical labor tasks such as constructing garden beds and installing efficient irrigation systems to diligent maintenance and regular care, the students showcased their determination to create a thriving and sustainable environment for the community. This commitment fostered a sense of pride, empowering the Green Panthers to fully embrace their roles as stewards of the rooftop garden.
From Classroom to Business: Cultivating Entrepreneurship
The community garden at ISB was designed not only as an educational space but also as a sustainable business venture. The Green Panthers are strategically growing an abundance of food and flowers, hopefully transforming their project into a revenue-generating entity. Our students will be actively involved in managing and operating the garden as a student-run business. This entrepreneurial aspect will allow them to develop valuable skills in financial management, marketing, and customer service.
Our International Baccalaureate Business Management class is using the garden as a case study and the Green Panthers as a “client” as they move through their curriculum. With each new unit, our business students will be able to apply their knowledge in an authentic way by advising The Green Panthers on best practices from a small business perspective. This will instill a deep understanding of the practical application of sustainability principles within a real-world business context.
The Blooming Impact: Harvesting Growth and Inspiration
As the community garden flourishes, its impact extends beyond its physical boundaries. High school students eagerly engaging in science projects will be able to directly utilize the garden as a living laboratory. They can conduct experiments, collect data, and explore the intricate workings of nature. Students with an interest in marketing are designing infographics and signage that will soon be installed adjacent to the garden sharing the vision for the garden and telling the story of its development. The garden will also be open to visual arts students who might be interested in creating murals and sculptures for the garden. The vibrant atmosphere and collaborative spirit within the garden serve as a constant source of inspiration, nurturing curiosity and fostering a deeper appreciation for nature, sustainable practices, and environmental stewardship.
Nurturing Minds, Inspiring Change
The Community Rooftop Garden project at International School Bangkok exemplifies the incredible impact, potential, and highly collaborative nature of project-based learning. Through respect, care, creativity, and commitment the students cultivated not only a thriving garden but also a passion for sustainability, science, and business. This project not only served as an educational endeavor but also empowered students with essential life skills and an entrepreneurial spirit. ISB’s commitment to providing experiential learning opportunities for students is a testament to our dedication to nurturing well-rounded balanced individuals who will become global citizens with bright futures.
Limited spaces are available for the 2023-2024 academic year, please inquire here for more information.