On Monday, October 21, through the Shorewood High School social studies department, students had the opportunity to participate in an interactive classroom program called “Get on the Bus!” The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) bus is a traveling human rights exhibition, touring the United States for the second year in a row, that focuses on generating experiential learning and cultivating empathy and a sense of shared humanity through an immersive and interactive museum.
In addition to the interactive classroom on the bus, there were oversized photo cubes placed in the main SHS hallway to spark discussion amongst students, and the experience also included a multi-lesson curriculum covering poverty and sustainable development projects in village clusters in Senegal, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Ghana.
For example, students learned about certain challenges facing the Koraro village cluster in Ethiopia, such as barriers to access clean water and proper sanitation. Students then examined ways the MVP acted to resolve these issues in a sustainable manner. Multimedia materials including photography, films, text and maps provided student-centered, creative exploration of content.
“Unlike many other concepts in economics which are unambiguous, economic development is complex,” says Evan Schmidt, SHS social studies department chair and organizer of the MVP collaboration. “In my class, we look at quantitative data like the UN Human Development Index, the Multidimensional Poverty Index and the Gini coefficient measuring income inequality, and we also look at qualitative data such as what it is like to live without access to health care, freshwater and infrastructure. Because we are unable to travel to less economically developed countries like Ethiopia and Senegal as a class, I am grateful that the MVP bus gave us a way to see issues related to poverty and sustainable development through engaging forms of media like photography and video.”
To learn more information about the MVP bus, visit: http://www.generationhumanrights.org/get-on-the-bus-2019