Tjapko Poppens, the Mayor of Amstelveen, recently visited ISA teacher Melanie Smith’s grade 2 class to preside over the grand opening of their student-generated model city, 2MSville, named after their class.

The students, ages 6 to 7, had been learning how to code a small robot, called an “Ozobot”, when they first had the idea of creating a map for the robots to travel around. After learning about government and cities during their ‘Systems of the Community‘ unit of inquiry from the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the students decided it would be a great idea to create a model city, complete with structured lines for the Ozobots to navigate between buildings. And so 2MSville was born, featuring a hospital, a beach and even a castle.

Keen to share their learning with the wider community, the students invited special guests including the Mayor of Amstelveen, ISA Director Dr Carmody, other ISA staff and their parents to the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open their city.

The class were excited to be given charge of the schedule for the whole day, but soon learned that building a schedule was more complicated than they thought. As well as making the schedule, students learned lots in the process of creating 2MSville, including how to create advertisements, how to make building plans and, most importantly, how to work together as a team.

As part of the grand opening ceremony, Mayor Poppens gave a speech, emphasising the importance of friendship between communities in order for them to thrive. Extending the hand of friendship to the class, the Mayor offered to twin Amstelveen with 2MSville, so that the cities would be symbolically linked. After his speech, the Mayor cut then the ribbon and declared 2MSville officially open, ensuring another lasting link between ISA and our community.