Thirty Green Ambassadors from Runcorn State High in QLD have set a target of collecting 300 pledges from students and teachers for Enviroweek. The switched-on Enviroweek team has planned a multi-platformed information campaign across the entire school and into the community to achieve their target, explained Sam Pidgeon, the Junior Secondary Head of Department.
“These students want to make a positive impact and when they saw the personal impact they could make through Enviroweek and how that multiplies, they were really motivated to take the event beyond their team. They understand the connection between their behaviour and its collective impact on the world. They really own that,” explained Sam.
“As teachers we are leading an incredibly aware generation. Cool Australia’s resources connect with my students because they translate the classroom to real life and vice versa. Having reliable resources like this to call on and send students to is a major help. The information is solid, up-to-date and free of bias…and free! It’s easy for us to want to give something back through fundraising – but I also want to ensure it’s there in the long term. That’s important for teachers.”
At the heart of the Runcorn Ambassadors campaign is a ‘Pledge booth’ where Ambassadors will gather Enviroweek pledges and gold coin donations outside the canteen during morning tea for two weeks leading up to Enviroweek. Downloadable Enviroweek graphics from the website were used and adapted them to engage students in their challenges.
The Runcorn campaign has been spreading rapidly, having reached every student in the school as well as some neighbouring schools. It kicked off at the start of Term 3 with a presentation to the whole assembly about Enviroweek and the challenge options.
“The range of Enviroweek challenges means there’s something to engage students and teachers across the entire curriculum…and even outside it for those motivated by their phones, hair or shopping!” said Sam.
Key campaign activities building are:
- 90-second speeches to classes and year levels throughout the school
- A digital story about the Antarctica as part of an Enviroweek challenge journeys
- Talks to local primary schools and help with their Enviroweek activities; and Notice board messages, newsletter articles and website links.
In addition, there will be two school-wide ‘spring cleaning’ campaigns for students to join in during Enviroweek.
Sam contacted the Brisbane City Council to support a native tree planting on school grounds during Enviroweek. The Council has provided twenty trees that were selected by students, and holes have been dug by grounds staff in preparation for the planting by the Enviroweek Green Team and local Councillor, Steven Huang, during Enviroweek. The Enviroweek Green Team will be responsible for the ongoing care and maintenance of these trees.
Use this School Tree Lesson plan called ‘The Biodiversity Challenge‘ to support planting at your school.
All of boundaries of Runcorn’s school grounds fall onto local streets and an industrial area, and the school has become a resting place for local rubbish.
During Enviroweek the entire school will join in with school-wide spring clean of the grounds.
“It’s a spring community event. Showing students the fun to be had through joining in community action and taking pride in their school.”
‘What a Load of Rubbish’ is an online professional development course that helps you conduct litter and other secondary school waste audits with your students. There is also a specialised course for primary teachers.