AIDS Awareness Photo Contest

Students worked together to design a visual display and in doing so discussed issues of global significance.

AIDS ribbon collage
AIDS ribbon collage

A special educational needs school in Somerset received runner up prize in a photographic contest organized by the local Health Advisory Department. Here’s how they did it.

Main Activity

The criterion for the contest was for photos to include the AIDS ribbon design somewhere. Students brainstormed and decided they wanted an image that included a sunset as well as things grown in Somerset. They came up with the idea of a collage made up entirely of locally produced goods. And what better image to create than the Glastonbury Tor — something that everyone in the UK would recognise.

So, using food products such as cheddar cheese and vegetables, students created a collage of the hill and the chapel using an AIDS ribbon for the door of the tower. In planning the project with students, teachers covered issues related to HIV/AIDS, mainly in terms of the effect it has on people’s lives, and how many children have lost one or both of their parents to AIDS.

This project helped students achieve the following…

It made the issue of HIV/AIDS more real for them, instead of just being something they saw on TV, and it helped them to empathise. It brought home the fact that this is not just a disease at other end of world, but it has a knock-on effect that spreads very far. Students were particularly touched when hearing about children their own age in other countries, who have lost their parents to AIDS. They even learned about such AIDS orphans at their partner school in Zambia.

It was also a great experience for students, and a boost to their self-esteem, to come up with ideas and see their ideas come to fruition.

This project also raised the following challenges…

For teachers, the hardest part was getting the students to sit down and really think about what they could do to represent Somerset, and to communicate their ideas. Helping them to focus on the discussion, and plan for putting together the elements of the photo posed a real challenge.

Find out more

Teaching resources: Find teaching resources around the topic of HIV/AIDS

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