Sustainability Action Lab (SAL)

SAL is a collaborative project inspired by student calls for system change. It is a vehicle for students to start working on change now. We support aspiring scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, public policy makers, philosophers, journalists, activists and others who want to ensure that there is a tomorrow worth living in for all of us.

Mission and vision

SAL’s mission is to teach students to meet today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Our vision is an environmentally sustainable and socially just planet in which humanity can thrive.

The Concept

  • Unique Sustainability Course with solutions-focused modules
  • Participation in Youth Mayors, in cooperation with other european top schools, partly funded by the EU-programme Erasmus+
  • Periodic sustainability workshops for students inside and outside Strothoff International School
  • Placements in internships / volunteer work / summer programmes / universities in sustainability fields

The Sustainability Course

  • Will focus on Action in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), teaching students how to engage with sustainability issues at three scales: the household, school and community. The programme seeks to build the skills needed to connect with stakeholders and to organize for action. 
  • Uses a new Youth Mayors curriculum developed by our school in cooperation with UWC Maastricht, UWC Red Cross Nordic, UWC Freiburg and the International School of Brussels. 
  • Focuses on systems and design thinking and Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics Model to help students develop effective initiatives that have a thorough understanding of communities and their context.

The modules currently organised for the Sustainability Action Lab include:

  • Semester 1: Youth Mayors including the Doughnut Economics framework
  • Semester 2: Biomimicry
  • Semester 3: Sustainable fashion
  • Semester 4: Sustainable food

Other modules under consideration for future modules include:

  • Sustainable cities
  • Geoengineering
  • Water management
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Art activism
  • International climate agreements

Action Lab

At the SAL, we believe that experience in the field drives passions and opens opportunities. Students in SAL undertake regular in-school and extracurricular experiences related to sustainability. They can pursue their interests in a number of ways, all of which are supported by our faculty, documented, and reflected upon by the student.

  • Internships / Volunteer work / Political action / Social advocacy
  • Research
  • Additional courses
  • External workshops

Current Projects

We currently (2020-2021) have 15 students in the SAL. They are learning about project development through a new Youth Mayors curriculum, and are investigating, planning and designing, taking action and sharing and scaling multiple projects using the IB MYP personal project and IBDP CAS project experiences as their laboratory. In addition, we have a number of changemaking projects initiated by our teachers working together with students. 

  • Improving school uniform sustainability
  • Student thriving at Strothoff IS (to inform work on applying the Doughnut Economics model for school development)
  • Reducing household plastic waste
  • Regenerating the Frankfurt Forest
  • Sustainability podcast
  • Sustainable skis
  • Eating for personal and planetary health
  • Body image – essential for thriving
  • Designing a tiny house
  • Reducing clothing waste
  • School mission and vision
  • Applying the Doughnut Economics model for sustainable development at Strothoff IS
  • Visual Arts / Design / SAL wing
  • Hydroponics and bee garden