High School Students Make Global Difference!!!

February 5, 2018, IVECA International Virtual Schooling & Samsung Electronics America (Samsung) and with the support of the UN Department of Public Information hosted a half day event of the STEAM Education for Global Citizenship to Achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Organized around two themes – STEAM Solution Developed Through Global Education and Private-Public Partnership on STEAM Education for Global Citizenship – the event has explored the holistic and intercultural integration of global citizenship. High school students, educators, diplomats, NGO-representatives, and social entrepreneurs from many countries joined together at the United Nations to discuss the dilemmas, challenges, and the positive impact of global citizenship through intercultural education.

Through the Global Classroom STEAM Challenge (GCSC) program provided by IVECA with Samsung’s sponsorship and collaboration, students from eight high schools representing five different countries: Korea, USA, Brazil, Tunisia, and China have worked passionately for about a semester, more than 10 weeks. Each school worked with their global partnership school; for example, Ross Butler Tech School (OH) is partnered with Korea Science Academy of KAIST (Korea), Downtown College Prep High school (CA) with Zhenjiang Vocational Technical College (China), Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy (PA) with International School of Tunis (Tunisia), and Lawrence County High School (AL) with Luiza Formozinho Ribeiro Public School in São Paulo (Brazil). Covering the subject of areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM), they come out with innovative solutions to contribute to accomplishing the SDGs. Before coming to a final prototype, students discussed with their partners and exchanged questions and answers through mutual respect and intercultural collaborative learning process. By working together, students realized many similarities as well as differences in cultures and socio-economic systems between their communities and countries. Each representative student team expressed that global education and partnership is the fundamental pillar for tackling poverty, racism, gender violence, climate change and for promoting equality and economic development.

The outcome of their one-semester collaboration and their prototypes of solution were presented to over 500 audiences at the United Nations and globally through the UN Web TV. Students’ hard work was shared through visual presentation, dialogue, and talk. The moderators, panel speakers, and audiences were mesmerized by students’ wonderful ideas, innovation, creativeness and the way they answered during Q&A session. Along with students, Ambassadors of Korea, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Qatar also spoke emphasizing the importance private-public partnership for holistic education and global citizenship. The entire event can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/2C5cwJU

This event was co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, the Republic of Tunisia, and the State of Qatar to the United Nations, UNESCO New York Office, NGO Steering Committee for an International Day of Education for Global Citizenship, and NGO-DPI Executive Committee. The event undoubtedly is most memorable, inspirational and honorable moment for the youth leaders who came to the United Nations for the first time. The event was concluded with the Luncheon Award Ceremony. Representative students and teachers were conferred with the GCSC certificate and award endorsing hard work, dedication, intercultural competence and global citizenship they have demonstrated.

The World is their Stage

All the world’s a stage, and people are actors, said Shakespeare. 

The theatre is certainly a wonderful way to learn about society and its history, and the students of  Hoover  High School (USA), and Jeonmin  High School (South Korea) did just that.  Meeting virtually through the IVECA program, these students used classical plays to teach one another about different aspects of their cultures and celebrate their differences and similarities. 

The students worked together for an entire semester. Students from  Jeonmin introduced Hoover students to Chunhyangjeon,  or “The Tale of Chunhyang”  one of the best-known love stories and folktales in Korean history.  Students from Hoover shared Shakespeare’s  Hamlet with their counterparts at Jeonmin. Students analyzed the plays and stories and shared their own perspectives which inspired wonderful discussions and opportunities for self-reflection.

Not only were they able to learn about their partners’ classical plays and folk tales, but students also learned more about plays belonging to different cultures by comparing them with those of their partners. The project helped participants better realize and identify the differences and similarities between the theatrical productions in the West and in Korea.

Future Technology For The People

It is obvious that technology plays an important role in people’s  lives everywhere in the world. Through technology, people today use a number of innovations that help better their lives,  such as artificial body parts and intelligent machines. However, who knows what technology will be uncovered in the future? What fields technology will change and in what way? These are some of the questions elementary school researchers tackled this past fall. t.

Little researchers from Sunderland and Barnard Elementary Schools in the USA and Boram Elementary School in Korea invested time and energy to examine future technologies. They believe cooperation between people and technology could result in amazing achievements. That is why they did their best to find out how technology can serve human rights, justice, and equality. In small groups, these students had 4 virtual meetings that took place in November and December, to present their findings to each other.  

“Today, we are talking about the Fourth Industrial Revolution as an extension of the Third Industrial Revolution” agreed all the little researchers. They presented their findings about the application of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in many fields and how to use this technology to make a better future for people. Making a home for everybody, helping sick people, improving education and revolutionizing transportation are amazing ideas that our researchers shared.

After presenting their findings, the US and Korean students discussed their presentations and gave feedback to each other. And yes, we always learn from sharing, they also could identify similarities and differences among the ways they have been thinking about future technology and how it could help people live in harmony.

Holistic integration of global learning throughout Guatemalan classrooms

By: Ms. Helen O’Neal, Teacher at Colegio Americano del Sur, Guatemala

The Colegio Americano del Sur (CAS) grade 7 class presented their projects on Human Life and the Environment on June 21st, 2017.  Our IVECA class partnered with Boram Elementary School in Korea. The work of the students was supported by teachers Ms. Sanha Lee from Boram Elementary and Mr. Edgar Caniz, Ms. Ema Hernandez, and Ms. Helen O’Neal from CAS. For our live class presentation, each student group researched a different technological innovation, examining the innovation’s positive and negative aspects. The class focused on the similarities and differences between our two countries’ daily activities and impacts on the environment. The IVECA course encouraged our students to examine possible solutions to our impact on the environment from a local and global perspective. Our IVECA program lasted three months and included topics integrating language arts, social studies, and science.

Our middle school English teachers collaborated on the extended classroom project. The IVECA program facilitated horizontal alignment within our existing curriculum. Ms. Hernandez, our English Language Arts teacher, focused her students’ work on different stories and narratives addressing her curriculum objectives such as text and author analysis. Ms. Hernandez tells us, “Students wrote a narrative about life at CAS in which they expressed how happy they feel to be part of this school.” Working on the assignments, students were able to build upon prior knowledge and activate prior skills to complete each topic. Also, the program integrated technology, making use of 21st-century skills within the classroom. The variety of topics and integration of technology provided an appealing platform for students to work and interact with their Korean partners.

IVECA motivated our CAS students to participate and to collaborate within groups and with students from different Korean cultures.  The topics of the IVECA course were interesting and relevant to the students. In English Language Arts, the students analyzed characters and techniques of local narratives such as Rigoberta Menchu and La Nina de Guatemala. “Rigoberta is one of the most important characters of modern Guatemala. La Nina de Guatemala is one of the most well-known poems due to its relation to historical events,” Ms. Hernandez explains. The science projects, led my Mr. Caniz, pushed students such as Juan Ignacio, to take responsibility and lead his group to completion. The projects researched local Guatemalan innovations such as “biobardas,” plastic barriers that protect riverbeds. The topic of technological innovations encouraged students to explore further ideas to protect the environment. Mr. Caniz adds, “Something really interesting was that many of our grade 7 students were surprised to find out that in Guatemala, as well as Korea, there are many people who have invented technological innovations that have helped our world.” Leaders emerged from each group and the students worked to their fullest potential. It was a unique experience for our students to share and discuss these topics with their peers across the globe in Korea.

Finally, the farewell activities demonstrated our students’ talent and enthusiasm for their local culture. Each class, from Guatemala and Korea, presented a performance reflecting the history and traditions of our country. Korea presented the traditional Korean sport of Taekwondo and choreographed a modern K-Pop dance. CAS student Ligia played the national instrument of Guatemala, the marimba, while students danced in Guatemalan dress and presented traditional flags. Ms. Hernandez adds, “Marimba music is so beautiful. Guatemalans are very proud of it.” This performance was followed by a skit, the conquest of the Maya by the Spanish invaders in Guatemala, directed by student Luis. These activities featured our students in a personal and fun way, bringing our cultures closer together through art, performance, and music. Overall, the IVECA experience provided our students and teachers at CAS with a memorable and productive experience!

Throughout the IVECA course, our students and teachers made meaningful connections. Connections were made across our middle school curriculum and across the world with our partners and friends in Korea. The IVECA platform facilitated the sharing of our students’ projects; meanwhile, our students practiced their 21st-century technology skills and abilities. The Colegio Americano del Sur 7th grade class was pushed to boundaries of their abilities and talents in a new and exciting way with IVECA.

High School Kids Make the Best Use of Globalization

The 21st century is often described as the era of globalization – but what does that mean exactly? Do we really live in a global village? Well, 10th graders from Escuintla city in Guatemala had a one-hour virtual class with their IVECA partners from Daejeon city in Korea in order to discuss these questions.

Obviously, it took them more than one hour to properly understand how globalization is influencing today’s societies. During the last three months, both schools carried out research and developed critical thinking on this complex topic. The students first defined globalization before digging down a little deeper to carefully investigate the political, economic and environmental impacts of this phenomenon.

On June 20th, during their live class, the teenagers presented their findings as well as their solutions to mitigate the detrimental effects of globalization. For example, students from Korea shared their ideas to reduce the loss of competitiveness experienced by some of their national industries. Likewise, Guatemalan students explained how the globalization of Spanish jeopardizes the existence of native languages in Central America. They emphasized the role which schools should play in keeping Mayan languages alive. Among other suggestions, they proposed to increase the number of teaching hours allocated to native languages.

Of course, the students did not only highlight the negative aspects of globalization but also pointed out the numerous benefits of this trend, including their IVECA experience itself as a positive outcome of globalization. After all, it wasn’t only students involved in this cross-cultural partnership, but two whole “villages”. From the English and Social Studies teachers who guided the students to parents who livestreamed their performance, in the end, it is two school communities who went beyond cultural and geographical boundaries to make the most of this worldwide network called the “global village”!

Youth: Leaders of Today, Changing the World of Tomorrow!

Guest reporter: Subhajit Saha

On 15 June, Hanil High School students in Korea and Global Youth Leaders including the UN DPI Youth Representatives and NY-based NGO youth leaders convened at the annual IVECA – Global Youth Virtual Roundtable to discuss the Roles of Youth in Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Throughout the session, the participants discussed a variety of overarching questions regarding the roundtable theme, from “What are the SDGs?,” to “What would you do to contribute to achieving the SDGs?”

The second segment was commenced with words of inspiration from former United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, “Be proud to be young. You are not the leaders of tomorrow, you are the leaders of today.” The statement can be attested to the work of Hanil IVECA Club students and Global Youth Leaders, who are contributing to Agenda 2030.

Hanil High School students are contributing to civil society efforts through grassroots initiatives at their school and community. Taewoo Kim of Hanil IVECA Club is currently working on SDG 4: Quality Education by designing programs that aim to send African children to school, who may otherwise not be able to do so due to poverty. Hyunjun Shim is supporting SDG 15: Life Below Water by raising awareness of marine life issues through campaigns at his school. Junghun Park, a firm gender equality activist, is working on achieving SDG 5: Gender Equality by promoting the sharing of domestic chores that are typically performed by women. Jiwon Baek supports SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation by informing his peers about the lack of access to clean water faces by millions in the developing water.

Global Youth Leaders are performing similar work alongside their Hanil High School counterparts in Korea, in an effort to achieve the 17 SDGs by 2030. Jadayah Spencer, Chair of UN DPI Youth Representatives’ Steering Committee is working with several NGOs to end negative stereotypes about Africa and the Black community by training Black and Latino youth to become the next generation of visionary leaders. She is also involved in teaching youth how to advocate, in addition to designing solutions for problems faced by their community. Secretary of the Steering Committee, Subhajit Saha, brings to light the issues faced by young Bangladeshi orphans through social media campaigns and outreach initiatives at the United Nations and in the private sector. Furthermore, he promotes the alignment of Education for Global Citizenship and the Together Campaign to promote respect, safety and dignity for all. His colleague of the UN DPI Youth Representatives, Aishwarya Narasimhadevara is dedicated to women’s empowerment in medicine. In addition to leading a movement pertaining to improving access to water in Zimbabwe, she is currently working with Javita Nauth, whose organization constructs a school with eco-friendly and earthquake resistant material in villages of Nepal. Javita also conducted the first young women and mental health thematic session of the Youth Forum at the 61st UN CSW session. James Corbett, through his own initiative, Project Refit, is developing a web-based communication platform that assists military members to tell their stories through YouTube videos, podcasts, blog posts, and social media.

Hanil High School Students and Global Youth Leaders completed the roundtable session with Q&A. During this time, participants discussed the possible danger of technology in hindering sustainability, in addition to the role of youth in the betterment of society at a time of tension amongst world leaders. All participants left the session with a sense of inspiration and hope, in a commitment to improving the world we live in.

A Hanil student commented, “IVECA changed my dream. I wanted to be a doctor only to make a big money, but now I want to be a doctor who helps African refugees and dedicated to treating infectious diseases through the UN or WHO.”

James, one of the youth panelists shared his reflection, “[the Global Youth Virtual Roundtable] truly had impacted me in a positive way… it was evident the experience had a positive impact on them [Korean high school students], as well. I truly believe this effort should be reached into high schools around the world.”

Jadayah, moderator of the roundtable said, “Learning from the IVECA students in Korea, gave me insight. The students posed important questions, and our discussion about overcoming obstacles towards progress was candid and eye-opening. It gave me hope, and confirmed for me that youth around the world carry the spirit of collaboration, and the hope for achieving the goals that benefit us all. It was inspiring, and I look forward to bringing in more youth from New York City to engage in these conversations.”


Host & Sponsor: IVECA International Virtual Schooling
Co-sponsor: Legion of Good Will – USA

Amazing Teamwork from Guatemalan and Korean Schools Gives Hope for a Brighter Future

Colegio Americano del Sur from Guatemala and Noeun High School from Korea met virtually on June 14th in order to address current issues and suggest solutions to ensure a better future for all. The students examined together how unequal income distribution, high tuition costs and crime networks among others are detrimental to the political, educational and economic systems of their countries. The teenagers enthusiastically exchanged their views through a critical analysis and intercultural lens on these serious topics.

It is worth pointing out the commitment of the lead teachers of these two schools (Mr. Jim Dolan and Ms. Hejin Kim) and the wonderful support provided by the administrators and technology teachers of each school. The genuine desire to provide quality global education for their students demonstrated the exemplary teamwork of both schools throughout this three-month partnership. Reflecting the cooperation, respect and mindfulness between two schools, students’ live exchange celebrated an outstanding success. IVECA would like to extend a warm round of applause to the cast of this panel and its stagehands as well!

Teenagers’ Virtual Panel for Equality and Harmony

Yodeling, whistling, sending smoke signals or carrier pigeons, etc. This is not a list of weird hobbies but rather ways that were once used by humans to communicate over long-distances. Talking about long-distances, more than 7000 miles (11000 kilometers) separate Hanil High School in Korea from Bellows Free Academy in USA. To close this geographical gap, the students from these two schools decided to use more reliable and modern forms of communication.

Over the last three months, these two schools connected with one another by posting messages online through the IVECA platform. This week, these Korean and U.S. teenagers had an even more immediate interaction. After researching discrimination issues and international conflicts, they met virtually to have live exchanges of their perspectives to build a better future.

For about one hour, they held panel discussions in order to propose an action plan for equality and harmony. While the Korean panelists exposed their ideas about conflicts affecting international relations of East Asia, the young U.S. speakers focused on the African continent. To tackle various issues ranging from the controversy over Japanese Yasukuni Shrine to the illicit trade of natural resources and exotic pets in Africa, the students developed solutions based on the similar strategies. All the participants in this debate agreed that communication, diplomacy and cultural interaction will pave the way to stronger and healthier relationships between countries. One of the U.S. students reflected on her experience:

“… Doing IVECA and talking to you and your school showed me how working together with other countries can solve inequalities… In the future I hope that many of the problems and inequalities we face today are no longer an issue…  I hope that by standing up for my beliefs like the people in the Gwangju Uprising I can help stop inequalities and make a difference…” 

Of course, reducing the communication gap between different cultures is a road filled with challenges. The students themselves sometimes had a difficult time communicating with their partners due to the language barrier. But thanks to their open mindset and hard work, they made the most of this intercultural partnership. The farewell letters they exchanged at the end of their live classes demonstrate that they successfully managed to transcend cultural boundaries:

“ …We really enjoyed the activities with you. At first, it wasn’t easy to communicate in English. We searched for dictionary dozens of times to use the most appropriate expression… The activity about ‘Conflicts in history’ gave us a chance to learn about many different conflicts around the world. “

Student from Hanil High School, Korea.

“IVECA was an amazing experience for all of us here in the United States. We have enjoyed getting to know more about you and your country, and we hope you enjoyed meeting us as well. Learning about each other has helped us develop friendship skills, and learning about your country has made us closer… “

Student from Bellows Free Academy, Vermont.

“ …I encourage you to think of today’s class as not the end but a new beginning and hope for each other’s best although we are far apart.. “

Shin Insoo, Vice Principal of Hanil High School, Korea.

Budding Global Experts from Korea and India Discuss Geopolitics

Hanil High School and Mahaveer Public School respectively from Korea and India, met virtually on Wednesday, May 24 in order to discuss issues and conflicts which have persisted over the course of history and still influence international relations. During their live presentations, the students assessed together the historical, economic and geopolitical reasons behind international conflicts such as the territorial disputes over Kashmir or the sovereignty of the Dokdo island.

As real history experts, the students were very detail-oriented when conducting research and sharing with their IVECA partners their possible solutions to mitigate the negative impact of these conflicts on global relationships.

Students found this two-month partnership was a very rewarding learning experience for both schools, as exemplified by the farewell letters they exchanged:

“….we learned a lot about your culture, customs, and especially about you. Thank you for having us as your partner, and we sincerely hope that we could meet again as proud global leaders. Thank you.”

“Only a few months have passed since we have communicated by IVECA, and this virtual classroom [live video class] became the last activity between classes…. the time spent together was useful and valuable.”

           Letters from Hanil High School  students to their friends in India.

Indian and U.S. Kids Embrace Joy of Cultural Diversity

150-151 fashion show picture US-IN

During their three-month partnership, students from Bellows Free Academy (Vermont, USA) and their IVECA friends from St. Mark’s Sr. Secondary Public School (New Delhi, India) showcased intercultural dialogue, respect for diversity, and openness to learn from others – all critical in a world that is becoming ever more connected.

Using IVECA’s platform, these children spent their semester discussing the similarities and differences between the cultural wardrobes of the United States and India. Of course, this partnership, a first for the New Delhi school, went far beyond an exchange of information about clothing.

The children also learned about the effects of geographical features on the ways people live, work and celebrate. For example, the Indian students presented Diwali, a festival celebrating happiness and lights, while the US students shared their tradition of Halloween, a popular celebration involving lights. Additionally, the students explored the role indigenous plants play in their economies. St. Mark’s students illustrated how spices contribute to India’s international trade.  Likewise, students from BFA  explained how Northeastern states benefit from the production and sale of Maple syrup.

On January 31, this collaboration concluded with a fashion show that highlighted traditional costumes worn during festivals, athletic uniforms, and everyday clothing.  This one-hour virtual exchange celebrated their friendship, joy of learning about new cultures, and the importance of intercultural understanding.

The farewell letters the children exchanged demonstrate the power of their experience:

“…. it was the first time I had been a part of such program and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned that the differences in our cultures make this world an exciting place to be, but our similarities make us understand each other in a better way. This understanding is required to make this world a better place to live in.

–  A student from St. Mark School in New Delhi.


“… I just have to say that it has been a great time doing IVECA for two years and I really hope that I get to do this again. I have really been happy to meet different people from other cultures.”  

“I hope that you had just as much fun as I did!  I know that most schools do not get the opportunity to communicate with people from separate countries and one thing that I learned from this experience was that we have a lot of similarities.”

– Students from BFA School in Vermont.

Brazilian and American Students cut across Language Boundaries

When one wants to learn a foreign language, one is often advised to go abroad to be in contact with native speakers and their culture. However, throughout this semester, students from Oswaldo Aranha Middle School and their IVECA’s partners from Sunderland Elementary School experienced this journey to multilingualism without actually leaving their classrooms in Esteio (Brazil) and Massachusetts (the US).

These students took on a bilingual trip together where they worked on engineering, geography and language projects. During their travel, they sometimes got some fuel via assisted auto-translation. This has facilitated them to achieve progress on the path of intercultural communication and to take part in a very positive experience, as reminded by Oswaldo Aranha English teacher (Miguel Antônio Machado). He believes this type of exchange is essential for his pupils as it gives them the opportunity to connect directly with students with a different mother tongue and a different cultural background as well.

View full article here: Alunos interagem por videoconferência com estudantes dos Estados Unidos

Intercultural Understanding on Technological Impact in Colombia and the U.S.

What do maple syrup, drones, solar panels and ice cream have in common? Well, fourth graders from Abraham Lincoln International School in Colombia and their IVECA partners from Georgia Elementary & Middle School in the US helped us answer this question. Indeed, they addressed these topics during their mid-December Live Classes which focused on how the respective industries of their regions use modern technologies.

Due to the fact that we live in a technology-driven world, American and Colombian students chose to explore together how technology influences their daily life. While Vermont students shared with their partner friends how modern science facilitates the manufacturing of some typical products of their area (maple syrup and ice cream), Colombian students worked, amongst others, on renewable technologies, drones and coffee industry.

By discussing throughout this semester how new technologies are creating massive changes in their regions, these students clearly increased their knowledge about industrial science. Students also had opportunities to build intercultural understanding of the technological impact on people’s life.  Abraham Lincoln School’s principal commented about their experience at the end of this three-month partnership:

“Educating children with a humanistic approach has been set as a priority and in that direction we cherish the possibility to establish interaction with people from different cultures. Today we praise greatly the chance you have provided us. It’s been an awesome experience working with you and IVECA organization these sessions that have contributed to expanding our intercultural understanding. Tons of thanks and may this be the first of many similar experiences.” –  Ms. Rocio Mongui