Preparing Boys for Life

STEPs Day: Middle School boys consider United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

This fall, Middle School boys took part in STEPs Day—or “Solving The Earth’s Problems.” The boys researched the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and considered how those problems impact them, their communities, and their world. Middle School faculty members Emily Odeh, Mario Masso, and Kori Brown led the program.

STEPs Day is just one of the Fords Focus Days, during which students learn outside the classroom, considering problems and solutions with hands-on activities and research. They also investigate how those problems impact people around the world, building empathy and understanding for others.

Each grade focused on one UN Sustainable Development Goal. Sixth graders researched and discussed Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. Form I boys examined Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, while Form II boys researched Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

The boys undertook a wide range of lessons related to their respective goal. For example, Form II boys in Andy Grossman’s science class considered the affect on the community when natural disasters contaminate a water supply. . The boys tested different water filtration methods and made calculations. The same students then considered their goal in their English class with Anthony Pariano, examining the role of language in a variety of contexts, including how it shapes public policy to how it can be used to encourage empathy and compassion for those who have suffered from both human-generated and natural disasters. 

Considering the same problem through different disciplines supports the boys as they learn how they each fit into their larger community. Each grade considered the UN Sustainable Development Goals through different frames: sixth grade considered individual responsibility, Form I looked at governmental responsibility, and Form II considered communal responsibility.