Just before the Winter Break, a student-led virtual conference was organized by Grade 11 student Katharina as part of her CAS program. Katharina arranged for Ms. van den Berg's Year One History class to speak to Dr. Hazdra, a UNCHR Military Representative who was in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. He shared his experience through incredible anecdotes and discussed the relevance of the topic on current events. It was a meaningful experience for the class, as his personal stories provided a once in a lifetime insight into this tragic event.
Katherina organized the event with her teacher, then gathered questions from her classmates before and during the chat, moderating the event which was in complete alignment with their History HL unit on the Rwandan genocide. Feedback from her teacher, Ms. van den Berg, was that students were highly engaged throughout the chat, even sticking around for over 20 minutes after class had ended because they were so enthusiastic and moved by what they'd heard. At one point during the talk, Dr. Hazdra commented that he wasn't sure if his stories were interesting to the students--but Katharina was quick to encourage him, pointing out that the textbooks don't necessarily tell these real-life stories. What an excellent opportunity to engage with the local community and link the IBDP's CAS program with the curriculum!
Thanks for sharing, Katharina!