Environmental & sustainability education at Emerald Primary School is a great example of a school living what it teaches.
Nestled in a beautiful, picturesque part of Victoria it’s easy to understand why the school community is inspired to look after the environment.
Leigh Johnson, the environmental and sustainability coordinator, says the students love being part of the process: “It’s in and about their world. It’s about learning by actually putting ideas into practice”.
Some of the many impressive projects include:
— A school windmill – creating sustainable energy for the school & pumping water into the schools taps
— water tanks – storing rainwater for use in the school’s toilets
— a container deposit scheme
— school weather station – measuring temperature, air moisture, wind chill, air pressure and a rain gauge
Mr Johnson adds, “The idea is to ‘normalise’ the experiences the kids learn about in environmental studies. So that they expect to see veggie patches everywhere, wind turbines and solar heating.”
There is a “Loo Crew”, a group of students who want to help raise awareness of the sanitation crisis facing many countries (with the assistance of WaterAid – see http://www.wateraid.org/) . And the “Don’t Palm Us Off” crew – a group of students who want to educate the school community about the harmful effects of the palm oil trade and the threat to orang-utan habitats.
“These student-led initiatives are examples of where social action meets sustainability”. These activities are part of students embracing their responsibility and contributing to the wider world and sustainable communities.
Emerald Primary School recently received its own aquaBUBBLER as part of Yarra Valley Water’s “Choose Tap” initiative.