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Sixth Graders Create Superheroes Based on UN Sustainable Goals

4 girls holding a super hero  homemade poster

Move over Captain America and Ant Man. There are some new superheroes in town. Oliver the Ocean Saver. Hunger Slayer. The Equalizer.

Sixth graders created these Global Goals superheroes and others to fight for causes like ending world hunger, eradicating poverty and ensuring that the earth’s water supplies are clean. 

For their first Middle Years Programme unit, “What Does It Mean to Be a Global Citizen?” students in Jenna Schettino, Deb Kilmer and Diane Acampora’s classes spent time researching a UN Sustainable Development Goal they were passionate about and created a superhero to solve the issues that surfaced during their research. Students then connected their superhero to the UN Sustainable Development Goal as well as a IB Learner Profile attribute.

Aiden Bourque is an avid catch-and-release fisherman and wanted to know more about the Sustainable Goal #14 Life Below Water. He created Oliver the Ocean Saver to ensure future conservation of the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. 

2 boys and 2 girls creating posters“His superpowers include giant hands to pick up the garbage that lines the ocean floor and feet that could plant and spread sea grass seeds,” Bourque said. “I do a lot of fishing and I want to make sure that the water is always safe to fish.”

The Equalizer is Emily Martin’s superhero concept and her power, Martin said, is more of an accessory. “She has a book bag and every time she pulls out a book, a girl gets a proper education,” Martin said. 

During her research, Martin said she was surprised to learn that there are areas in the world where girls are not only undereducated but not allowed an education at all. She said she created her superhero to help fix that.

Simone Hennigan created Hardship Girl to address Goal #1 No Poverty. Hennigan’s superhero flies to the areas in the world plagued by poverty and helps the organizations that are already there who are working to improve the lives of people in poor communities.

“It’s not fair that people in the world can’t afford necessities like food and clothing or a roof over their head,” Hennigan said. Researching her sustainable goal and creating a superhero to help world poverty had piqued her interest in someday working with a world relief organization.

 Two Boys in costume