Service & Sustainability
Service Learning is a theme that flows through the curriculum at ZIS.
As indicated by our school mission, Learn, Care, Challenge, Lead, we believe that service offers unique learning opportunities both inside and outside of school. ZIS students experience first hand the powerful impact of caring for others, and of understanding a perspective which is different from our own.
Service learning is also an integral part of our co-curricular program and Upper School Classroom Without Walls field trips.
Team Ghana, which is an after school club in the Middle and Upper School, works to support our partnership with the Bosomtwe International School (BIS) in Ghana.
- Team Ghana and the Student Council at the Middle School organize an annual dinner and entertainment in support of the BIS partnership. It is during Grade 8 that students begin working towards gaining the opportunity to visit BIS during the following school year, by helping at school events and learning how to play, teach and interact with younger children by spending time at the Early Childhood Center.
- Team Ghana at the Upper School organizes the ExtravaGHANzA, an evening of entertainment and food in support of the BIS partnership. Many of these students have visited BIS during their Grade 9 school year or on an Upper School Classrooms Without Walls trip.
- The Ghana Cup is an all school community soccer day which is organized in partnership with the Parents' Association.
Community Action Service (CAS)
All students are encouraged to care about each other and their environment. Service plays an important role in our students’ learning experience. Therefore it is a part of the graduation requirements for students to participate in direct service within the school, the local community and abroad during Grades 9 and 10.
In addition to this there are numerous service learning clubs that form part of our extra curricular program - see more details below.
Sustainability is an important part of everyday life at ZIS. With the ZIS Innovates sustainability initiative, learning how to respect the environment starts as soon as you enter our community. It is our goal to be green.
We achieve this by taking different measures locally and globally. Our local actions at all campuses include the placement of electric hand dryers in all washrooms, a commitment to PET recycling, and the goal of being a paperless school through distribution of student and faculty tablets. Students at the Lower School and Early Childhood Center have access to garden and forest spaces where they learn about the importance of natural ecosystems.
On a global level our community is investing in an increasing number of carbon offset programs that promote social welfare in Africa and Asia.
The educational culture at ZIS endeavours to promote a student body that is conscious of the environment and highlights the value of sustainability.
Environmental Economics and Project Green worked together to develop a Carbon Offsetting program for Zurich International School, with the aim of reducing our community’s Carbon Footprint. Since November of 2014, ZIS has been actively financing carbon offsetting projects in Ghana and Taiwan through its purchase carbon credits.
Environmental Economics students investigated problems arising from electronic waste. The students have brought SWICO recycling boxes to the three main ZIS campuses, which are now available for the community to use to dispose of small electronic devices. Boxes can be found at the reception areas of the Upper School, Middle School and Lower School.
Project Green was created in 2013. Our student population has developed a strong global commitment to understanding how we as individuals and as a community can contribute to maintaining the prosperity of our natural environment.
Environmental Economics is an elective class offered to students in Grade 10, 11 and 12 which aims to teach students about how the tools of Economics can be applied to help solve real world environmental problems.
About half of the class takes place in a classroom where students learn basic Economic concepts as they relate to the environment. Models such as supply and demand and the production possibilities curve are introduced, and the theories of market efficiency, market failure and environmental externalities are learned. However, the most important learning in this class takes place outside the classroom.
During half of the year, the class meets in the Project-based Learning Room (PBLR), where students form teams and choose an issue that they will investigate and plan and execute a project over a 5-week PBL unit. Projects aim to address a real environmental issue.
Students engage in a campus wide competition to test their environmental wits. Which advisory team can prove to be the most environmental?
WeAct is an online platform created by students from the ETH. The main philosophy is to engage people into living a more sustainble lifestyle through a process called "gamification". The principle behind gamification is to reward participants with points for their actions. Our ZIS specific platform is called the Green Lions Challenge, which takes place once a semester. Students are split up into advisory teams, and the advisory with the highest average points each week wins fantastic prizes! This challenge is entirely student run with a little help from the founders of WeAct.