Hope for a Bright Future

Objectives for High School Students

  • Compare and contrast children’s lives in Ethiopia and in the U.S.
  • Analyze statistical data and draw conclusions.
  • Reinforce math skills through diagrams, graphs, and charts.
  • Create an awareness project through creativity and teamwork.

Materials:Internet access, graph paper, mathematical compass, video camera

Build Background

(Duration: 30 min. - 1 hr.)

Ask students to estimate how many years children usually attend school in the U.S. Then ask them to estimate how many years children usually attend school in Ethiopia. Record the estimates on the board. Repeat the process and ask students to estimate how many people have access to clean water and doctors in each of these countries. Have students form pairs and through online research, find the accurate statistics for schooling, clean water, and access to doctors in the U.S. vs. Ethiopia (you may wish to point them to the CIA World Factbook for data.) Correct the estimates on the board. Then ask students to draw conclusions about the data. What effect can lack of education/clean water/healthcare have on children? Ask pairs to use the Internet to find evidence that these effects exist in Ethiopia (i.e., high illiteracy and mortality rates).

Make Connections

(Duration: 1 - 2 hr.)

Ask students to share what they know about cleft lip/palate. Then have students correct their ideas using the data on Smile Train’s General Information About Cleft Lip and Palate page. Give basic facts about Ethiopia from Smile Train's Ethiopia page. Ask students to make connections between this data and the information they learned in the Build Background activity. Ask, “How many children with cleft lip and palate in the U.S. get treated? How many children in Ethiopia get treated? Why?” Ask students to create bar graphs or pie charts that share this data.

Class Project

(Duration: 2 hrs.)

Place students in small groups and ask them to research how much money the average Ethiopian child would need in order to afford cleft lip and palate treatment. If necessary, review effective research methods and how to average different figures found online. (You may wish to point them to the World Health Organization or The World Bank websites.) Students can set a fundraising goal of helping one or more children get cleft lip/palate treatment and conduct a fundraising campaign within the school or community to reach their goals. They can also create an online fundraising page in order to track their donations.