School Environment Education Directory North East holds Wodonga student environment day

CLOSE EXAMINATION:  Will Fuller, 10, of Saint Francis of Assisi, and Rutherglen's Jacqui Pearson, 11, with some water bugs. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS
CLOSE EXAMINATION: Will Fuller, 10, of Saint Francis of Assisi, and Rutherglen's Jacqui Pearson, 11, with some water bugs. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

CHOCOLATE chip biscuits proved one yummy way to teach North East school children more about the environment.

About 180 students from Rutherglen, Talgarno, Dederang, Wodonga South and St Francis of Assisi primary schools took part in an environment day run by the School Environment Education Directory on Thursday.

The children, who were mostly grade 5, divided into 11 mixed school groups at The Cube Wodonga to complete various activities aimed to make them more aware of the world around them.

Mining chocolate chips out of biscuits allowed Goulburn Valley Water to illustrate the nature of non-renewal and sustainable energy.

Aboriginal artist David Dunn led double sessions to guide participants through making artwork on canvass boards using his silhouette technique.

A magnetic fishing game from Petaurus Education Group helped identify fish and size and bag limits while St Francis senior students taught about different native birds that could be seen in backyards.

Water bugs, natural disasters, the web of life, planting and waste were other topics presented by organisations including North East Waste and Resource Recovery Group, North East Water, Halve Waste, Our Native Garden, State Emergency Service, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and North East Catchment Management Authority.

SEED project officer Linda Anania said each student completed four activities during the day and then took back what they had learned to their schools to share information.

“To be able to get so many experts in their own fields in the one spot is just so valuable,” Mrs Anania said.

“The amount of knowledge that’s in this room at the moment is enormous.”

Wodonga South Primary School teacher and sustainability co-ordinator Felicity Limbrick said the environment day complemented school activities.

“We are a ResourceSmart school so it just allows the kids to be hands-on and see that what we teach them at school is actually happening in real life,” she said.

SEED is funded through North East Catchment Management Authority and North East Waste and Resource Recovery Group, with a memorandum of understanding signed on Thursday to continue this commitment for another four years.

North East Catchment Management Authority chief executive Neil McCarthy said SEED was an exceptional program that offered environmental education in an exciting way.

“For the kids, it’s an opportunity to get out of school and come and experience some really interesting topics and get immersed in those topics,” he said.