NRM North’s Education program continues to engage with schools and their communities across the northern region of Tasmania. NRM North remains committed to raising awareness of environmental and sustainability issues in schools, change attitudes and behaviour, and engage young people in projects that increase understanding and improve the health of the local environment.
THE BIG PICTURE
The program is fundamental in developing a population that is knowledgeable and committed to creating a sustainable future. A healthy environment, which provides us with food, clean water and fresh air, is the most precious thing we have. It guarantees our quality of life and we must protect it.
WHY THIS ACTIVITY IS IMPORTANT
Early involvement and study of environmental issues with school students helps ensure they - the future community leaders - understand the importance of sustainable living. Hands-on activities that highlight environmental sustainability and offer a local and real world context for students are powerful learning tools. Furthermore, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that sustainable schools and environmental education increases achievement across all key learning areas and develops general well-being. This is because education for sustainability provides a meaningful, real-world focus which young people recognise as significant to their lives thereby capturing their interest.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
The Education Officer and various NRM North staff have visited a number of schools for hands-on activities with students on topics such as:
• Water quality monitoring and ‘waterbug’ identification;
• Native plant seed collection and propagation;
• Revegetation planting days; and
• Introduced species.
These activities have seen hundreds of students engaged in hands-on activities.
It has been a challenge to attract interest and participation from teachers in information sessions on new resources and programs and we have been working to attract more input from teachers on how we can improve the program and best meet their needs. At the same time, school students are highly knowledgeable about the environment and how human behaviour is having serious impacts on the Earth’s ability to sustain life. This bodes very well for the future, and society’s ability to use our resources sustainably. Furthermore, students exhibit a real enthusiasm for getting outside and getting their hands dirty in the push for a healthy environment and sustainable future.