cas project, Creativity, Service

Twiga Compost Initiative: Building Stage

Today marked the first day of what I thought would essentially be the most difficult part of the process. Fortunately, however, it’s been a breeze! Receiving a great deal of help from our Jenga TAT group, we’ve begun to physically build the compost bin in the garden behind the Science building (some photos can be found below).

I think that this is perhaps the area of my CAS Project where I’ve really learnt the most for a number of reasons. While I am comfortable speaking to people and coordinating events, I find building things to be incredibly difficult and I think that I initially underestimated the significance of this part of the project and subsequently overestimated the difficulty of the task. Having perceived the construction to be a minor component of the project, I allowed it to be delayed which ultimately led to my anxiety more recently, which has now been put to rest! Based on all of this, I believe that the most significant lesson of this project was time management and meeting problems head on.

Overall, what needs to be done next is simply finishing off the project and communicating with the administration what my plans are. This has already begun through speaking to Mr. Smith and Mr. Allen however, with another brief meeting, I am sure that IST will be on its way to completely revolutionizing the way in which we tackle waste.

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cas project, Creativity, Service

Compost Beginnings!!!!!

SO today, I essentially began the implementation phase of the Twiga Compost Initiative. So far, I have

  • Put up posters
  • Located a bin
  • Communicated with the canteen and local staff
  • Located potential areas for the larger compost
  • Generated slight community awareness

What I learned from all this work today is the incredible amounts of work that this initiative will require in terms of contacting and agreeing with the school! Given this information, I need to now do the following

  • Meet with Mr. Smith regarding a possible location for the larger compost bin
  • Build the larger compost bin with Mr. Patrick
  • Buy the following supplies: buckets, green spray paint

The second point here is what I see as being the most challenging given that I  am not very strong. This will therefore require me to advertise this as a potential creativity/action activity for students to take part in over one weekend. I will do this ASAP through the daily bulletin as soon as I have determined a location.

Please find my incredible posters on ManageBac as I am incredibly proud of them!

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cas project, Creativity, Service, Uncategorized

Twiga Compost Initiative I.i

In order to properly complete my CAS project, I found that I would work best if I was meeting a sort of timeline. This way, I know which work should be done in what order and am therefore able to focus on particular tasks. The project has been divided into the following stages:

I. Preparation
– Discussing ideas with Mr. Patrick and working on designs 
– Communicating with the administration in order to gain permission and support
– Designing a final idea for the trial 
II. Advertising
While this stage is strongly connected to the previous, I feel that because this is a particular challenge for me and should therefore be its own stage.
– Putting together posters to be shown around school
– Promoting the idea with students through discussions
– Advertising the survey/trial on the bulletin while using graphics and fun facts
III. Trial and Reflection
– Two compost bins placed at campus in strategic locations (canteen, grade 6 area, courtyard)
– After five days, the bins will be checked for the amount collected
– Surveys will be collected either by one sent out or by random conversations with students
– Reflection on trial and what should be improved
IV. Implementation
– Similar to above but with changes made
V. Conclusion and Further Reflection
– Basically a point to judge the project’s success at IST and whether it is worth moving forward and pursuing elsewhere

I think that this stage exemplifies the creative aspect of the CAS rather than what others might consider the more the relevant, service. This is quite interesting because I too initially thought that this project would focus more on service but it is not the case.

The reason that I have put the part about Mr. Patrick in bold is because this is the part of the project that I worked on today and through doing so, basically covered the design. During this meeting, we discussed various ideas and came to the conclusion that a pilot program would be the best way to judge the success and demand for the project. I followed through this conversation by discussing the idea with Ms. Siemens and was basically given permission and directed me to Mr. Lazaro to get a bin. My next step is to first start with advertising and creating a poster for the bins and then to contact Mr. Lazaro.

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Creativity, Service

CAS Project Beginnings!

After a lot of brainstorming and changing my mind about five times, I have concluded that my CAS project will be a compost initiative at IST. I have chosen this as a CAS project for several reasons

  • It provides an outlet for both creativity and service as per the CAS curriculum
  • It has the potential to be sustained for many years to follow at IST
  • It is an incredibly simple yet effective opportunity for change
  • It is a cause dear to me!

My proposal can be found in this link however is yet to be completely finished. Before I submit it to Ms. Milne, I plan on meeting with Mr. Patrick next week to finalize a plan for the actual bins. While I am not very savvy when it comes to construction and design, I have noted the following as being important notes to consider:

  • How many could we realistically make to place around school?
  • How will we compost animal products – or will we even venture into that? (pests are a problem)
  • What are our materials available?
  • How long should this take?

After this meeting, I plan on discussing the matter with Mr. Smith and probably an IST service group relating to the environment for extra support. After all of these discussions, I will be ready to construct the bins and place them around school.

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Creativity, Theatre

Proposal: HS Play

Experience type: Creative

Duration: August 2016 – December 2016

Supervisors: Ms. Patel, Ms. Payne

Tuesdays, 4:00-5:00, black box costume room

This semester, I will be working in the costume and props department of the Black Box Theatre Company’s rendition of “Twelve Angry Jurors”. I have identified this as a creative CAS experience given the creative thinking and process involved in costume design and preparation along with the more conceptual aspect as how it fits into the themes associated with the play. This is an incredible opportunity to undertake new challenges, plan and initiate activities, work collaboratively with others, engage with issues of global importance for the following reasons:

Learning Outcome 2: Undertaking new challenges 
Although I have been involved in theatre from a very young age, this year marks the first time that I am so heavily involved in the backstage and specifically in costume and props. This is a completely different aspect of theatre which requires new and different skills and, with this, entails new and different challenges. This includes a stronger emphasis on design and visuals along with organization and logistics.

Learning outcome 3: Plan and initiative activities
This year, the Black Box Theatre Company has decided to have this play directed by teachers both on stage and behind the scenes. Although this minimizing the relevance of this learning outcome, it remains significant in the fact that we are supervised by teachers however, the brainstorming, planning, and sourcing of materials in essentially on behalf of the students.

Learning outcome 4: Working collaboratively with others
In order to execute a professional and well-done production, there are a variety of individuals involved. I am working most closely with three other girls in the costume department and as we have no particular leader, although some may take on this responsibility through their characters, it is a great example of working collaboratively and really building off of each other. Outside of our smaller group, we have to work alongside the set to make sure that the costumes will not clash or sink in as well as the actors so that they feel comfortable with how their characters are being portrayed.

Learning outcome 6: Engage with issues of global importance
I think that this is the most unexpected outcome to arise from this project however maintains relevance. The play that is being put on is “Twelve Angry Jurors” and discusses in depth the themes of justice, social inequality, and in turn social responsibility. We were given the job as costume designers to channel these themes while challenging the strict perimeters that the original play presents. Through portraying these ideas on characters in a play without setting we try to illustrate the timeless and more true aspects of each of these themes and therefore understand them in a more global way.

 

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Creativity, MUN, Uncategorized

MUNing onto better things – hopefully

This year, I have finally built up the motivation to apply for a leadership position. The way I see it is that I hope to continue being active even in my senior year, and the only way to do so is to be a member of the organizing and leading team. I have decided to apply for the position of Co-Deputy Secretary General primarily because in the coming year it will include Director of Education and Development. I think that this is something I would be great at given my technical skills in MUN as well as my general hope to improve the program! Below, see my letter of interest sent to the teacher advisors.

Sophia Rafuse Letter of Interest

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Creativity, MUN

DARMUN Preparations!

I’m incredibly excited to share the news that I have been selected to be the delegate of Russia to the Security Council in this year’s DARMUN Conference! First of all, the Security Council is seen as being one of the most competitive and *insert word* committees making it quite difficult and exclusive to get into and practically confirmed that the debate will be interesting and lively. Secondly, Russia being a veto power means that, not only is a very prestigious role, but I will also be able to make myself a critical member of discussion.

The two topics being debated (and my policy statements so far) are as follows:

  1. Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destructionThe Russian Federation sees the possibility of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as an issue of extreme concern to be dealt with seriously and immediately. A WMD is defined as a chemical, biological, or radioactive weapon which has the ability to cause widespread death and destruction. Currently, there are no terrorist groups in possession of nuclear weapons however the United States has confirmed a suspected chemical facility in southern Iraq and the disappearance in 10g of nuclear substances from the Iraqi government is leading officials to suspect that it could be in the hands of the Islamic State, posing a genuine threat to member states.
    Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian government has been adamant in their determination to reduce their stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction as well as protecting the world from the threat of nuclear terrorism and war. Russia is scheduled to complete the dismantling of their chemical weapons by 2020 and currently has 8,000 nuclear warheads, 3,000 of which are scheduled for dismantling. In terms of the physical protection of their nuclear assets, customs units and common economic space between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia have minimized the possibility of nuclear materials finding their way to the black market. Most recently, Russia has been determined to strike the issue of ISIS achieving nuclear weapons by bombing campaigns.
    Despite these efforts, the threat remains. Russia believes that the most important points to focus on would be the physical protection of stockpiles (including transportation), stricter end to corruption, improved security in terms of border control, as well as honouring agreements established in the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. In order to do these, there is a significant need for funding and international communication.


  2. Strengthening international cooperation in combating illicit financial flows resulting from criminal activities
    The Russian Federation maintains that in order to strengthen the global economy, international cooperation in terms of combating illicit financial flows resulting from criminal activities is absolutely vital. Currently, the black market is estimated to value US$1.81 trillion including profits from prostitution, the illegal arms, drugs, and animals trade, etc. In the modern age, technology is proving to play a significant role in terms of the flow of assets.
    The Russian Federation has made a commitment to attack this issue on a more domestic scale in order to overwhelm the root of most of the illicit financial funds. This can be seen through their commitment to anti-corruption measures through the National Anti-Corruption Plan and National Anti-Corruption Strategy. Along with this, a blow to the supply and demand of illicit goods such as drugs or prostitution has been a priority of Russia seen through stringent legislation against these commodities.
    Russia believes that the next step is to encourage international cooperation in order to decrease the accessibility to the flow. This should include regular meetings to establish a basic and agreed upon method in order to react to situations as well as improved communication between member states to not only recognize greater issues but also assist one another in resolving cases of large-scale illicit financial flows.
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