This was the challenge set for students at Bennett Road Public School as they embarked upon their 2019 Kreative Koalas project.
Through their research students came up with an enormous range of ideas including:
- purchase of a hive to support bees,
- purchase of tanks to conserve water,
- expansion of the school garden to provide produce for the canteen,
- investment in solar panels,
- the reduction of food waste through worm farms and composting,
- extension of the school recycling project
- support of community initiatives such as Lids for Kids and Wands for Wildlife
- recycling and repurposing clothes
- planting of native trees and shrubs
After researching ways to make a difference students then made a case for change:
“Students through research, investigation and education realised the importance of the environment. They understood that the environment plays a crucial role in the healthy living of humans in the world.”
And defined a scope for action:
“We decided the best way to help the climate was to learn how to help so we could teach others and then start to make changes at the school together.”
This led to an action plan involving zero-cost changes at the school, minimal cost changes and long term goals that can be achieved through slow sustained implementation and evaluation.
“The cost of solar panels and water tanks are expensive and not always included in school budgets. There are ways around big ticket items such as applying for grants, entering competitions and getting sponsors. But educating the students about the cost and effects of using electricity has made them more aware and conscious about turning electricity off and limiting their uses of resources. Our students have become more environmentally aware and conscious”
Through their Kreative Koala journey the staff at Bennett Road Public School was proud of the knowledge and passion students displayed in their research and presentation of ideas, and their enthusiasm for change and how they can make a positive impact. This was tempered somewhat by the realisations that change can take money and time, and that not all in the community believe in climate change. However teachers were surprised at how students committed to sharing their knowledge with family and friends, and implementing change in their own households.
“Success for us is defined as students making changes themselves and educating others about changes they can make that will positively impact the future.
Success is having students passionately talking about the environment and thinking critically about the things they can do to help.
Success is creating a generation of environmental activists that are prepared to stand up and come up with imaginative plans to improve the future. Through education we can make sustainable lifelong change.”
Awesome work Bennett Rd Public School
Thank you to our supporting partners