Taking action in our schools: one year on from the Earth Hour Switched on Schools Summit
Students from the Queenwood School and St Luke’s Grammar School presented at the recent Switched on School Earth hour summit. The Students had attended the summit the previous year and returned to share their stories of how they made change in their schools.
Student from Queenwood School, shared how they had created “Cleanwood” environment club at their school. The club was influential in the creation of the role of environment captain, which became a new year 12 leadership position. Inspired by the For the Love of the Reef campaign, the group coordinated a Reef Day. To get started, they ran presentations in tutor groups. The presentations educated students and teachers about the devastating impact the global warming and fossil fuel projects were having on the Great Barrier Reef and the importance of taking action to protect it. They dressed up in Nemo costumes to further promote the day in their school assembly and stuck posters around the school. During the Reef Day students sold Ben and Jerry’s ice cream that they had organized to be donated. A number of bands performed live music, many of them wore Nemo costumes. A raffle was held, with the main prize of a mermaid flipper. All up, the day was a great success and engaged the whole school community in the importance of taking action on climate change. Over $1,100 was raised For the Love of the Reef campaign.
St Luke’s students shared a video showcasing SEEM, the group they created after attending last year’s summit. SEEM stands for Social Ecological Environment Movement. The students used the group to run an over-arching campaign to power their school by 100% renewable energy. As well as climate change, SEEM incorporated a number of different social and environmental justice issues. Some of their activities over the year included; mental health week, collecting sanitary products for the homeless and raising awareness about marine animals. Recently they had a big step forward with their 100% renewable school campaign. They meet with the school building manger to look into the feasibility of getting more solar on their school.