New Canaan Country School Eighth Graders Tackle Global Issues in Annual World Congress

New Canaan Country School eighth graders presented at the school’s annual World Congress, a hallmark event of their year-long study of world cultures.

“What they are learning is vital preparation for a generation of leaders who will have to bring knowledge, empathy and creative thinking to inescapable global challenges,” said eighth-grade teacher Bart Fredo, who teaches the social-studies course. Additional eighth-grade teachers include Elizabeth Carroll and Will McDonough.

In preparation for the event, held May 27, students examined the geography, history and cultures of Africa, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia. Their course of study culminated in a major research project dealing with contemporary issues, including the environment, climate change, alternative energy, global health and human rights. During the World Congress symposium, students individually took to the podium to present their issue summaries and field questions from the audience of teachers and classmates. 

“They develop several vital skills that they will need as they move into high school, college and beyond,” explained Mr. Fredo. “Critical thinking and research skills, of course, but equally important are peer collaboration, public speaking and the ability to think on one’s feet.”

Topics and presenters included:

Global Health 

Access to Healthcare - Jack Nally 

Life Expectancy - Isabella Sarracino 

Child Mortality - Penelope Arredondo 

Autism - Parker Hanson

Alzheimer's - Caroline DiBiasio 

World Health Organization - Lila Gizzie 

CDC - Annie Boggess

Pandemics - Matt Fry 

Immunization - Niall Glynn 

Tuberculosis - Eleanor duPont 

Heart Disease - Emma Cannon 

Cancer - Oliver Golden 

Stem-Cell Research - Ellie Israelov

Human Rights 

Human Trafficking - Dominic Hartmann, Courtney Edwards

Child Labor - Regan Famigletti, Skyler Gendason

Access to Education/Illiteracy - Sebastian Kelsey, Penelope Legnani

Gender Discrimination - Ellie Rosolen, Kieran Mohindra-Green

Overpopulation - Reed Ghriskey, Brendan Buda

Refugees - Ifeanyi Ndokwu, Morgan Powell, Aoife Flanagan

Hunger - Daniel Marin, Matthew Schell


Biomass - Peyton Ambrose

Geothermal - Katelyn Barr

Hydroelectric - Ana Petricone

Nuclear - Jack Fichthorn, Josh Fleuriot

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion - Ambika Nott

Solar - Eloise Galante, Elizabeth Hall

Tidal power- Ella Kurtz

Wind - Emily Behr, Lyla Koch 

Electric vehicles - Brandon Krongard, Justin Mims

Public Transportation and Human Powered Vehicles - Colin Mackey, Brodie O’Connor


Climate  Change - Chris  Santa,  Riley Newport,  Leena  Aronson, Vy Cullen

Water Pollution - Margot Seiden, Rigs Conze, Alex Thiersaint

Air Pollution - Dario  Sanon

Deforestation - Lane Gallagher, Connor McNamara

Biodiversity -  Annie Harrigan

Habitat Loss -  Mark McNamara

Environmental Disasters - Matt  Rivera, Oliver Johnson, Chandeny Rahman

Plastics - Sabina Cherry and Bray Rudd

New Canaan Country School is a co-ed, independent day school for students in Pre-K (ages 3 & 4) through Grade 9 living in Westchester and Fairfield counties. Graduates excel at top day, boarding and public secondary schools and go on to lead lives of impact and purpose. For more information, please visit countryschool.net.



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