YNU SDGs Ambassadors

Dr. Kiyoko Uematsu and Dr. Kumiko Kawachi (International Strategy Organization, YNU)

The Yokohama Creative City Studies (YCCS) program offers workshop-type classes related to the SDGs. In the fall semester of 2020, YCCS offered a studio workshop focusing on partnership (SDG17). Students applied their acquired knowledge about the SDGs from the previous semester and organized online SDGs workshops for partners in Kanagawa Prefecture as SDGs Ambassadors.

Part 1 Ein Gumyouji Day Care

In this article, we would like to introduce the SDGs joint session with Ein Gumyoji daycare in Yokohama City. There were 13 children aged 5 to 6 years from the day care and the three SDGs Ambassador groups (YCCS students) facilitated SDGs workshops for children.

Team 1: Beautiful Town with Everyone (garbage separation, environmental problems, recycling)
Team 2: Sustainable cities
Team 3: Eco-friendly life and food chain1

One scene from the SDGs workshop, energetic children at Ein Gumyuouji Daycare

YNU students provided children with workshops on the above three themes in Japanese. The biggest issues were selecting vocabulary and concepts that children aged 5 to 6 could understand for the first time and planning content that would interest them. It would have been ideal to physically visit the daycare, interact with children, and plan SDGs workshops after learning about children’s favorite things and vocabularies that are familiar to them. Since it became an online exchange on ZOOM due to COVID-19, YNU students prepared the workshop with limited resources, however, they delivered the well-elaborated SDGs workshops.

SDGs Workshop (Team 3), highlighting the diversity of YCCS students

The children introduced Gumyoji, where the daycare is located, and together with the Team 2 “Sustainable Cities”, they made a house with a milk carton under the theme of “a house where everyone wants to live”. In the final session, children introduced the concept of each house to YCCS students and connected everyone’s homes to make it their own sustainable city.

Examples of sustainable houses that Children made (Team 2)

Team 1 ” Beautiful Town with Everyone” made a quiz that children could easily participate in about garbage separation and recycling. In addition to introducing their home country, the “eco-life” team arranged difficult themes such as the food chain into a game using rock-paper-scissors.

A quiz about eco bags and plastic bags (Team 1)

The SDGs have 17 resonating goals and under its main goal of “no one is left behind,” everyone works together to achieve all the goals. Through the SDGs workshop with Ein Gumyoji Daycare, YNU students also realized that starting SDGs education for very young children is crucial. In addition, the teachers at Ein Gumyoji daycare gave YNU students a lot of helpful advice. Their gentle guidance for children and assisting their understanding of the workshop are very much appreciated. Thank you to everyone at Ein Gumyoji daycare for their cooperation.

Group Photo with the Ein Gumyoji Daycare

Part 2 Odawara High School

In this article, we would like to introduce the SDGs joint sessions with Odawara High School. The three SDGs Ambassador groups (YCCS students) facilitated SDGs workshops for the first and the second year of high school students. Each team edited the content of the previous workshop and made it more advanced level.

Team 1: Are You Green Enough? Better Habits for a Sustainable Environment
Team 2: Clean Water and Sanitation / Life under Water
Team 3: How to Live Eco-Friedly

Team 1 “Are You Green Enough? Better Habits for a Sustainable Environment,” focused on the issue of plastic consumption on environmental impact. The team also presented their home countries’ efforts to reduce plastic bag use.

Team 1: Comparison of recycling system among three countries, Korea, Kenya, and Germany

Team 2, “Clean Water and Sanitation / Life under Water” tells the high school students about marine pollution and what we can do now to protect lives in the ocean. In addition to the main theme, the team prepared for an intercultural fun quiz for the high school students.

Teams 2’s presentation slide, “How Does Garbage Affect Our Ocean?”

Team 3 “How to Live Eco-Friendly,” introduced about an ecological lifestyle such as the concept of “upcycling.” At the beginning of the workshop, the team facilitated a quiz tournament by using Kahoot! application to introduce about their home country’s demography and culture—Canada, Denmark, and Vietnam. In the comments received from high school students after the workshop, some of them were motivated to learn more about the practice of upcycling.

Team 3: a quiz tournament using Kahoot!

On both days, Odawara High School students also gave presentations in English to YCCS students. Exchanging opinions and ideas with the high schools students on issues of SDGs was a great opportunity for YCCS students.

Presentation Slide 1: “Women’s Social Advancement and Declining Birthrate SDGs No.5 Gender Equality” presented by Ms. Tamaki Nannen
Presentation Slide 2: “Genger Equality around Us in Japan” presented by
Ms. Rio Yamaguchi, Ms. Yuiri Maruta, Ms. Akane Koike, and Ms. Nanami Shimane
Presentation Slide 3: “SDGs” (Yuumi’s experience dealing with international cooperation) presented by Ms. Yuumi SHiratori

All SDGs workshops with Odawara High School were conducted on ZOOM in English, but with the warm support of the teachers at Odawara High School, we were able to have lively discussions. It was a very challenging, but meaningful time for each other to have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the SDGs. Once again, we would like to thank  Sumio Okuyama-sensei, Ryota Okumura-sensei, Izumi Shiozaki-sensei from Odawara High School.

Part 3 Tokai University

In this article, we would like to introduce the SDGs joint sessions with first-year students of the Department of Health Management at Tokai University located in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Twelve students who took the Studio Workshop, which is a YCCS course in 2020, held discussions from various perspectives throughout five joint classes.

#110/22Icebreaker (Tokai), Group discussions
#211/5Icebreaker (YNU), Presentations by YNU students (1)
#311/12Presentations by Tokai students (1)
#41/14Presentations by YNU students (2)
#51/21Presentations by Tokai students (2)
Discussion by students from Tokai University and Yokohama National University

#1: At the first meeting of the joint sessions, a student from Tokai University facilitated Zoom rock-paper-scissors to break ice. Then we took time to introduce ourselves in a small breakout room. In the second half, the groups exchanged various views on global issues related to the SDGs using the Global Issue Worksheet.

#2: Two students of Yokohama National University conducted a treasure hunting ice breaker at the beginning, and everyone shared items that represent his country, that they can live without it, and that they cannot live without it on the screen. In the second half, YNU students gave a presentation to Tokai University students about the contents of the workshop planned to be facilitated for students at Odawara High School. The preliminary theme of each group is as follows.

Team 1: SDGs and Waste
Team 2: Clean Water and Sanitation / Life under Water
Team 4: How to Live Eco-Friendly (Eco-Living)

Japan’s social security system introduced by Tokai University students
The concept of “Three Cs” by Tokai University students

#4: Students from Yokohama National University gave report and shared their reflection on the workshop held at Odawara High School. In order to make the online participatory workshop a success, they incorporated an ice breaker using Kahoot!, online quizzes, and prepared discussion topics in advance that made it easy for high school students to engage and give their opinions. These are examples of creative approaches that the groups took.

#5: Student groups from Tokai University divided into breakout rooms and gave presentations on themes related to sustainability. After each presentation, students from Yokohama National University moved to a different breakout room and exchanged opinions.

Online “Uchiage” after the final joint session