Leadership in Action: Symposium & Rise to the Challenge

Hamlin students are able to dynamically present knowledge and identify problems in the world, while coming up with creative solutions that integrate ideas from various sources of information. Grade 6 and 7 students use their skills in Science, Health, Math, Social Studies, Spanish, Technology and English to write and speak publicly about topics/issues facing our world both near and far.

The 6th grade Symposium is modeled after the Greeks and involves four weeks of intense study.  Students are able to select their own topic, do research, plan as a team, and deliver short formal presentations at the Century Club in San Francisco.  Students share their knowledge via Ted Talks, songs, spoken word poetry, public service announcements, and short documentary videos.  This year the following topics were covered: Human Trafficking, Women’s Role in the Development of Africa, Ancient/Imperial China, Propaganda in Government, Danger of a Single Story (Exploring Bias), Global Education for Women, Water Scarcity and Poverty, the Role of Identity in our Lives, the Cultural Revolution in China, and Gender Equity in Hollywood.

The 7th graders immerse themselves in Rise to the Challenge (RTC).  They have the opportunity to choose their own topics, do in-depth research, then share their findings, providing short and long term solutions to various problems.  Most teams use social media to generate awareness, including videos, websites, blogs, Twitter, Change.org, and Instagram.  This year RTC addressed the following topics: Homelessness in San Francisco, Reducing College Sexual Assault, Challenges Facing the Use of Drones, Access to Clean Water Globally, Access to Education for Girls Globally, the Impact of Plastics in our Oceans, Overfishing, Income Inequality Between Genders, Improving Public Education in San Francisco, Challenges Facing Transgender People, Technology and our Health, and the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

Below is a video from the RTC group, Hope for Homelessness:

As part of their research, Grade 7 students had the opportunity to interview individuals from several incredible organizations, special thanks to the following people:

Shiza Shahid (The Malala Fund), Ellie Adelman (Women Girls Lead Global), Tihana Vucur, (Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation, Adriatic Dolphin Project) Rufaro Kangai, (Global Fund for Women), Stacy Webb (Compass Family Services), Michelle Parker (San Francisco Parent Political Action Commitee), Bevan Dufty (San Francisco Politician and Leader), Leyla Ghaffari (Project Homeless Connect) Candace Yu (YouTube for Good), Suzanne Goldberg (Columbia University) Betty Nyagoha (The Amani Institute) Lila LaHood and Daphne Magnawa (San Francisco Public Press)


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