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EHS senior tackles educational inequities in Morocco

Aerial view of Kuhlman stadium with water tower in foreground.
EHS senior tackles educational inequities in Morocco

Edina High School senior Eliza Neumann recently traveled to Morocco to combat inequities in science education as an extension of her Global Scholars capstone project. She raised nearly $1500 to develop an educational garden and purchase lab equipment for Sidi ou Sidi Lycee, a school in Taroudant, Morocco.

The capstone project requires students to select a current and relevant global issue they are passionate about and formulate a research question that encompasses the need to understand various perspectives. Global Scholars adviser Lindsey Smaka connected Neumann with educators at Sidi ou Sidi Lycee to understand how students engaged in hands-on learning with limited resources.

Neumann experienced firsthand the impact adequate funding could have on a student’s education when she enrolled in Edina from a different district. “Seeing how dramatic the differences were locally, I was curious what that meant for schools across the globe,” she says.

The capstone project usually takes the form of a research article, video, photo essay, website, or podcast. Neumann saw an opportunity to do more and decided to implement the project herself, sending her and Smaka across the globe.

“She viewed every single interaction, conversation and experience as a way to learn and grow. She became a role model for other Global Scholars, the Moroccan students and all of Edina Schools' students,” says Smaka.

This project was possible with the support and recognition of the Ministry of Education in Morocco, the students and staff of Sidi ou Sidi Lycee, specifically English teacher Mr. Hassan Ait Man and Biology teacher Mr. Abdelhak Hijou.

The Edina Rotary Global Scholars Program was created in collaboration between the Rotary Club of Edina and Edina Public Schools, with funding and support provided by the Rotary Club and the Edina Education Fund.