- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - It was hard to hear Sasha Davis, sixth-grade teacher at Clear Creek Elementary School, speak over the sound of students. The sixth-graders were talking about such issues as saving people from Ebola, purifying water in Iran and bringing education to girls in sub-Saharan Africa.

At Clear Creek’s Global Fair, students in Davis’ class showcased their research into solutions to problems that have a worldwide impact.

Thirteen-year-old Sammy Kestranek’s project was called “Water Woes,” and he found out how to help the people of Iran access purified water.

“They have to walk a long way to get water,” he said. “A lot of people don’t have clean water in Iran.” Sammy came up with an idea to use rocks, sand and a cloth in a plastic bottle to purify water and make it drinkable.

“I believe it should not matter what race, gender or age. You should be able to get an education, no matter what,” said 12-year-old Sophie Miller.

Her project was called “Girls’ Education Denied.” She discovered there are many girls throughout the world who don’t have access to an education and who often get married early and have children when they are too young for it to be physically safe.

Through her website on weebly.com, Sophie hopes others will learn about how they can help girls have access to school.

“Education is really powerful,” she said.

When 12-year-old Kennedy Chastain chose to find a way to send health aid to the people of Guinea affected by Ebola, she may not have realized she’d learn a lesson about herself.

“I appreciate my life. Others do not have what we have in the United States,” she said.

Will Quigley, 12, discovered Haitians struggle with waste management, and he titled his project “Haiti’s Crappy Solution.” He used an eco-friendly solution to Haiti’s problem by developing a system that turns “poop” into compost.

“Anything is possible,” Will said.

The projects were a combination of social studies and STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and math. The Global Fair was the culmination of the projects students had been working on since November. Every one of Davis’ students was charged with finding a problem and working out a solution.

“Some of them are very far-fetched, some of them are more realistic, but they were thinking outside the box,” Davis said.

At the Global Fair, younger students from throughout the school visited the sixth-grade classroom to learn from the older kids. With all the students conversing about poverty, health, conservation and other global issues, the school got noisy.

“It’s a sense of pride I have in these kids; we’ve waited all year for this,” Davis said. “They’ve all risen to the occasion.”

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Source: The (Bloomington) Herald-Times, http://bit.ly/1GThVz1

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Information from: The Herald Times, http://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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