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Case study

Engaging Teens to Fight World Hunger: Mathile Institute

How do you make kids aware of world hunger and then get them interested in helping feed the world? These materials get the word out in a creative, engaging way.

The Mathile Institute people were interested in preparing the next generation to feed the world. We met with Sharon Norton, the director of Global Programs, and brainstormed ways to reach young people. A website seemed essential, so we consulted on getting students involved that way. We also thought real-life case studies would help get kids interested in the topic of global hunger. We recognized the value of “influencers”—classroom teachers—learning about these topics and then teaching them to their classes.

We wrote three different curriculum materials—Revolution Hunger Field Guides to World Hunger in Costa Rica, India, and West Africa. These included classroom materials on topics of global hunger. The idea was to make the students ‘stakeholders’—they would have a role as an NGO worker, an indigenous population member, or a government worker. Then they’d see from different points of view how to address issues and what problems were involved. We took case studies created by graduate students at Cornell University and adopted them to a high school level for the Costa Rica materials. The others we developed ourselves using an interrupted case study method. We actually went and got trained in this at the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science!

One of the Institute’s goals is a global movement of young people interested in fighting hunger. Our role was to develop this, the classroom arm of that initiative. The case studies are housed on the Revolution Hunger website. They are available at no cost to educators. On that site, students can learn more and join the fight against hunger.

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