This week the RLC took on a global perspective of river systems. Nancy Nerny, board member for Dayton Public Schools, and Sr. Leanne Jablonski, Director of MEEC, led the class in discussions on global water issues. Previous to class, each student was assigned a case study to research. The case studies included: the sinking of Mexico City, water pollution in Malaysia, groundwater depletion in Hawaii, Israel, the Palestinians, and the Jordan River, and the Three Gorges Dam. With research in hand, the students shared what they had found. Each student filled out a “jigsaw” or, a chart with areas to fill in the information they had found. The chart included areas to fill in information on the case (conflict and its cause), scientific background, social implications, public policy, solutions, and Dayton implications. The students found the research interesting. Many of the students reflected on how the US takes water for granted. They were surprised by the water issues other people face around the world.
This week, the RLC continued with global water issues. Building upon last week and the research the students conducted, the students viewed the movie Blue Gold. The movie, a documentary style film, is a report on water issues around the world signifying how the world’s water is precious. In response to the film the students answered the following journal question:
The last two classes have focused on global water issues. Reflecting on Blue Gold and the in-class activities what strikes you the most? What have you learned about water conflicts as a whole? What do you propose will be necessary to achieve solutions and access to clean and safe drinking water for all? Why is it important to have an interdisciplinary approach to leadership?
The students really responded to the film. One student recommended showing the film at the beginning of the semester in order to grab students’ attention about water issues. Having viewed the film earlier, this student thought he would have created a project proposal based on the film’s content.