1. Understanding Mental Health

    July 22, 2022 by Noemie T.

    Driving Question: How can I de-stigmatize mental illness through information and awareness?

    Project Description: For her service-learning project, Class of 2022 Senior Noemie created lessons around understanding the fundamentals of mental health.

    These include understanding what mental health is, what factors can affect mental health, understanding mental illness, keeping yourself and others safe, and how and where to reach out or find help. Noemie then presented these seminars to students at TGS due to being unable to complete the seminars at home due to Covid.

    Project Reflection:
    I learned so much from this experience, and I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to complete this project and hopefully help at some people understand this topic better. This project was very important to me as, growing up in NZ, I have had so many experiences seeing the effects of poor mental health on peers and people within my community, so it meant so much to be able to be part of the road to a better future around this topic.

  2. Practicing Wellness Offline

    June 7, 2021 by Ella M.

    Driving Question: How can I improve my mental and physical wellbeing by going offline during an online term?

    Module Overview: For this project, I researched the effects of one’s environment on their mental health, particularly in relation to COVID 19, as well as practices and techniques for improving mental and physical wellbeing. I then put these techniques into action through physical activity, yoga, meditation, reflection, and mindfulness in order to improve my own wellbeing. In addition, this project was done entirely offline, with both my research and process portfolio being done on paper. My final product was a bullet journal documenting my experience throughout the term.

    Project Reflection: “This project was incredible for me. It might not be one of the projects that seems the most impressive or sounds the coolest, but I think it is the one that has been the most beneficial for me. This has been a hard year, and this project gave me the space to ask myself how it has affected me and what I can do to deal with that. Through this project, I learned how to take care of myself emotionally and physically, and I also learned how important those things are and how much they affect all aspects of my life.”

  3. Exploring Water Scarcity and Safety in Honduras

    February 26, 2021 by Estelle Woodcock

    Driving Question: How can I address some of the present threats to global health while promoting human rights and social progress?

    Project Overview: In this module, students were introduced to the foundations of global health. They learned about basic concepts, measurements, and determinants of health, and a number of key perspectives for considering global health issues.

    For her project, Estelle explored water scarcity in Honduras, which leads to a lack of basic sanitation and clean water for up to 1.8 million people. Non-communicable diseases in Honduras attributed to water cause a DALY rate of 4,540 per 100,000 people. Disease spreads through contaminated food and water tanks, and poor management, climate change, and political unrest worsen the issue.

    Project Reflection: “Exploring the niche of environmental global health opened my mind to so many new areas of interest in this field.  I thoroughly enjoyed this module and felt like the skills will be very applicable to other modules.”

  4. Go With the Flow Module: Hula Hooping

    January 15, 2021 by Ella M.

    Driving Question: How can I apply an understanding of flow state into physical activity and self reflection order to increase my well being?

    Project Description:

    For this module, as a way to further learn about the flow state, I began learning how to hula hoop. During this process, I documented my practice each week and made a compilation video of my progress. This video shows my progress from when I first got my hoop, only knowing a few simple tricks, to six weeks in, when I have learned several more complex techniques.


    “For me, what was most interesting about this project was not so much the hula hooping aspect, but learning about the flow state. I have been interested in neuroscience for quite some time now, and it was fascinating to be learning about something I could so clearly see demonstrated in my life through the practice with hula hooping.”

  5. Designing a Smart Punching Bag

    January 4, 2021 by Yeli K.

    Driving Question: How might I create a product that allows me to practice essential martial arts skills on the go?

    Summative Product: A useable punching bag/device that I can take with me to term.

    What are you passionate about that led you to choose this project?

    I have been an avid martial arts fan since I was young, practicing arts from kung fu to boxing. Unfortunately, when I travel I’m not able to work on my skills. Losing valuable practice time while traveling greatly affects my performance when I get back to the ring. To remedy this, I hope I can create a product that allows me to travel and continue to hone my fighting techniques.

    Making the conscious decision to dedicate myself to martial arts within the past year has positively affected my physical health. I constantly feel more energized, my stamina has improved considerably, and I’m able to channel my negative energy in a more positive way. This project will provide the tools to maintain these habits even while traveling.

    What was your initial idea and what did you want to do/learn with this project?

    My initial idea was to use a hat with a punching bag, but that didn’t work. I initially wanted to learn more about using different 3D platforms to create prototypes.

  6. Tackling Malaria in the Democratic Republic of Congo

    October 13, 2020 by Sofia V.

    Driving Question: How can I address some of the present threats to global health while promoting human rights and social progress?

    Project Description: My project is a policy brief about the Malaria situation in Congo. It includes its nature and magnitude, the most affected populations, the socio-economic consequences, and the potential solution to reduce the burden. The policy aims to convince the finance Minister of Congo to invest in solutions for Malaria.

    Project Reflection: “I enjoyed hearing from my peers how the health care systems function in different countries. A challenge was writing in the concise and precise way required for the policy brief.” -Sofia W.

  7. Groceria

    October 8, 2020 by Effie H., Rachel C., Sarah R., and Teddy F.

    Driving Question: How might we collaboratively implement a design-thinking process to meet the needs of the community we serve?

    Explanation of Summative

    Our summative product is the concept design and layout for an app designed to help households cut back on their domestic food waste by providing them with an interface to better manage the contents of their fridge, their dietary needs, and trips to the grocery store. The app would address some of the main reasons for domestic food waste that we identified – overbuying of food in general and poor storage of it in the house (i.e. forgetting about it in the fridge, letting it exceed its expiry date and having to throw it away, etc).

    What were your goals for this module? How did you achieve them?

    Our primary goal as a team was to learn how to collaborate effectively online, especially when deprived of the intimacy and information exchange of real human contact. Our meetings were casual yet productive, and we made the most of our situation by calling each other frequently in between to compensate for the lost opportunities we would have had if we were physically together. Another of our goals was to learn how to properly conduct interviews with users – we achieved this first by researching the nuances of good and bad interviews and then interviewing members of our families, the TGS community, etc.

    What did you learn about yourself or about your creative process or about your medium?

    A large part of our creative process had to do with accommodating various people in our team. This meant scheduling meetings, which included keeping in mind a distance of 7 hours between two of the members’ timezones. In another sense, though, this involved designating roles based on different people’s abilities and expertise, largely to do with technology and software design. Therefore, we learned the importance of using the strengths of the people on our team and assigning them to the areas that they’d be most effective in.

    What did this project mean to you?

    This project was meaningful in that it brought a group of us students together who didn’t necessarily interact very much outside of school before; it also taught our team much about the real nature of collaboration as something that can be both online and in person.

  8. Pole Fitness and Health: Breaking Barriers in Mexico

    May 21, 2020 by Paula M.

    Project Website:

    Driving Question: How can we take lessons from the sports industry to better improve the health of a specific group in need?

    Project Description: My goal for this module and term was to understand the effects of exercise in mental health and experience them myself. I also wanted to bring awareness to some “taboo” topics and defeat the stigma around them: gender violence (focusing on sexual violence), mental health, and pole dancing. I asked myself, “How can I apply what I learn about elite athletes to the females in my community who have experienced assault or harassment and could use exercise to improve their mental health, self-confidence and wellbeing?”

    To answer this I made a website that is easy to navigate, gives a “safe vibe” and shares reliable information and resources.

    What did you learn about yourself or about your creative process or about your medium? I learned a lot about myself, the culture I grew up in, and the global perspective of it. From how to do such an incredible sport like pole fitness and gain confidence and strength from it, building a community in the studio I learned at, and learning from strangers who then became friends.

    I learned to take a deeper look into where these issues root from, why shame is related to them, and how I can make a difference in my community.

    I learned the power and strength I have when I trust myself and how to transmit that to others. All the issues this summative addressed are quite complex and I learned how to balance them, support my claims, and share why I am passionate about such issues and this sport and project.

    It also changed the way I see fitness. I now see it as more of a balance between mental and physical health and exercise (mindfulness and physically).

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