Rooms 17, 18 & 6 – Friends of the Seacliff Dunes!
At the beginning of this year, students from Room 17 and Room 18 were trained by Natural Resource Management to run investigations at Kingston Park Beach. An excursion followed a couple of weeks later. Around the same time, Aboriginal Community Education Officer, Michael Laing, ran a session at Tjilbruke Springs about the importance of the area to the Kaurna people.
Michael ran a series of follow-up sessions in Room 17, including exploring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Histories and Cultures by exploring the importance of ‘Place’ through story books.
Throughout Term 2, in pairs, all Room 17 students undertook a science inquiry that they designed themselves, based on a world issue that they were enthusiastic to investigate. Many of these inquiries were related to the environment.
Questions explored actively included:
- Does whether or not a plant is native affect its capacity to survive pollution?
- How does the amount of plastic around a plant’s roots affect its ability to grow?
- How does temperature affect our chosen plants?
- How does the position of a support rod affect its ability to strengthen a branch? and
- How does the type of plastic affect its ability to break down in water?
After completing their investigations, children are now communicating about their results with community organisations involved with environmental care.
On Monday, August 3rd, Room 17, 18 and 6 students walked to Seacliff Beach to plant native species in the sand dunes, with the help of councillor Clare Lindop and Alex Guat, Team Leader for Environment and Coast from Holdfast Bay Council. Trees were supplied via a grant through Trees for Life. Over time, the three classes will return to the planting site to water and weed around the plants. Families are welcome to visit and do the same whenever they would like. An ongoing partnership with Holdfast Bay Council upon environmental care is now planned.
The next environmental project planned for Rooms 17, 18 and 6 students includes another training day to be run by Natural Resource Management, to take place on September 2nd, and a following excursion of investigation to Oaklands Wetlands, scheduled for September 9th.
Room 17 students may also visit Warriparinga Wetlands next term to enjoy sessions led by Aboriginal educators from the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre.
Through these various projects, we are confident that the students’ love of the natural environment is being boosted, that they are learning about taking responsible action and are becoming familiar with community organisations with whom they can team, to support them in caring for our natural world.