Grade 8 IDU: Tackling plastic production and consumption issue

By Jose Zarate

This week the Grade 8 students have embarked on a journey to design a solution to the problem of plastic production and consumption by designing a new product that reduces, reuses, and/or eliminates plastic packaging and/or waste. In three separate groups students explored stores and businesses around Jeju and the different types of packaging corporations use. They also visited markets where they interviewed vendors to see how they use packaging and to learn about patterns of plastic packaging consumption they have noticed. 

The students then shared the findings and brainstormed to create possible solutions to today’s plastic consumption problem. The solutions involve students creating a product as well as a design brief and a business model for their solution. The students then presented their products in a “Shark Tank” style business pitch to potential investors such as government entities, philanthropists/NGO’s, and Angel Investors/Venture Capitalists. 

Through this process the grade 8 students learned not only about business ethics, economics, and research skills, but also collaborated in groups, and learned valuable presentation skills that will prepare them well for next year's Grade 9 Exchange program in Canada.