Baarmutha Park in Beechworth hosted the 40th Student Environment Day event on a cold, but rain-free May 9th for around 200 students from the Indigo Shire area. This was the first time this event has been held in Beechworth and the participation rate was excellent. Participating schools were Beechworth PS, Beechworth Montessori School, St. Joseph’s PS (Beechworth), Wooragee PS, Springhurst PS and Kiewa Valley PS.
The Student Environment Day was run in conjunction with the Indigo Shire and coordinated by the North East Environment Education Directory (SEED) which is a uniquely North East Victorian initiative run through a partnership with North East Catchment Management Authority and North East Waste and Resource Recovery Group.
SEED was delighted to have the support of so many passionate local presenters including Beechworth Boomerang Bags, Beechworth Lions Club, Totally Renewable Beechworth and the Beechworth Food Co-operative. Many other local Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups once again provided some informative and hands-on workshops for students to learn about different aspects of the environment. It was fantastic to have the support of the equally passionate organiations such as Landcare, North East Water, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, DonebyDunn Art, Petaurus Education, EcoInquire and Halve Waste.
Participating students learnt about closing the loop by recycling right and the importance about thinking about what they are consuming both from a packaging and an energy point of view. They also learnt how to make a boomerang bag from an old T-shirt.
During the day they gained an understanding of fire and, through art, they also enjoyed learning about aboriginal culture and sustainability and gained an understanding of biodiversity and habitats. They also learnt about how drinking water is filtered and why.
Students discussed the progress of solar technology and designed future solar powered possibilities They also learnt more about how energy works by building electrical circuits.
Some students learnt about fruit fly and made fruit-fly traps, while others put their lines in to catch an understanding of sustainable fishing.
The day practiced being waste wise through having a rubbish-free lunch (of which they produced the least amount of waste in all 40 of our events) and, water wise through bringing refillable water bottles and refilling them at the NE Water’s portable refill station.The students also participated in the biggest swap shop SEED has ever conducted during lunchtime – giving toys, books and clothing they no longer wanted, another life and therefore keeping 218 items out of landfill and the line of keen swappers going from the building to the middle of the cricket pitch
The day was a huge success with both students and teachers learning a lot from these local experts and enjoying having the opportunity to mix with other schools. They will share their learning and follow up on these workshops back at school.
Some feedback from teachers:
“All kids were totally engaged and got a lot from all sessions. Presenters were excellent – motivational & enthusiastic!”
“Swap shop was great and it was terrific to see so many smiling faces after choosing their recycled item. I was pretty impressed with the ‘no rubbish lunch’ results. The culture is changing in a positive way. All these sort of days help that”
“The thing I noticed was the way the activities mixed the kids up and how during the day, kids made new friends and interacted more freely with kids from other schools. What a bonus!”
Check out some of the activities partaken in on the day: