On Monday the 21st of May, students from Classes 2 and 11 participated in the first Beacon Collaborative Classroom. The students had the opportunity to work closely with Will Hannaford, a Project Manager from the Natural Resources Management Authority, an agency of the Department of Environment and Water (DEW). The project is part of our school's ongoing working partnership with the Beacon Foundation and is known as the Collaborative Classroom. The project connects schools with industry partners (such as DEW) and aims to heighten student learning and provides a range of meaningful learning experiences in collaboration with industry. This project also seeks to provide our students with an opportunity to explore real world jobs and career pathways based on the content and skills acquired in the classroom, bringing their learning to life!
Will, their teachers Mr Parkin and Mr Kingsley, supported the students in carrying out water sampling at two sites. The first site at Upper Torrens (Athelstone) was one of higher biodiversity and less development, while the second was the Torrens Lake (city). Such testing is part of the daily work of NRM/DEW and helps their project officers to identify issues and create solutions to ensure sustainable ecosystems and water resources. Students had the opportunity to discuss issues that they uncovered and to consider ways to clean up our waterways. While carrying out the testing, two of our students also found some rare native fish guppies (babies), which according to Will, shows how the waterway has improved thanks to the work of environmental agencies in the field. As "citizen scientists", the data collected by our students will be used for their investigative multimodal reports and will also assist the DEW in their ongoing efforts to ensure sustainable waterways.
"It was an amazing day. It was very interesting and Mr Will helped us learn why water testing is so important.", Leonid, Class 11.
“I learnt a lot about water and how important it is. I also learnt that there are many problems and that people like Mr Will do an amazing job for the environment. It was so fun!”, Student, Class 2.
"The Collaborative Classroom is a valuable experiential learning opportunity for our students. It builds on our curriculum and intended learnings, while also creating an authentic, meaningful and useful real-world learning experience. It also utilises the knowledge, skills and expertise of industry partners such as Will (DEW), in order to heighten student outcomes.", Mr Parkin, Teacher and Coordinator Community Partnerships.