More than 350 primary school students will be converging on University of Tasmania campuses in the North this week to learn how to lead a sustainable future.
The Kids4Kids Sustainability Leaders Conferences will continue in Launceston TODAY (Wednesday, 20 November), and Burnie tomorrow (Thursday, 21 November).
The annual initiative is a collaboration between the Department of Education, Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and University of Tasmania.
This year’s theme, There’s No Planet B, aims to educate and empower students to forge change that helps improve the environmental health of the world.
In Launceston, participants will upcycle everyday items into art, explore the campus for secret wildlife habitats, practise papermaking with discarded materials, and learn what measures their schools can implement to become champions of the war on waste.
Students in Burnie will sample native foods and discover how planting native species supports local biodiversity and pollinators, participate in a composting exercise, and record sustainability advocacy podcasts.
They will also make beeswax wraps, learn how and why 3D printing and coding have important roles in sustainability, go on a bug hunt around campus and hear what they can do to minimise the impacts of people and pets on the environment.
Dr Kim Beasy, Lecturer in Curriculum and Pedagogy from the School of Education, said the events aimed to inspire young people to be the change for the future.
“Kids4Kids provides opportunities for students to share their learning with peers and connect with groups across the community who are working towards the same goal - environmental sustainability,” Dr Beasy said.
“The activities have been designed to engage them with their respective places, develop their understanding of the issues and sustainable practices they can adopt, and hopefully inspire them to be our next generation of advocates for the world’s future.”
Jenny Dudgeon, Sustainability Manager at the Department of Education, said fittingly, this year’s conferences followed National Recycling Week.
“Students at the K4K Conferences are excited by the opportunity to actively recycle their old toys, games and books by swapping them during the Great Aussie Swap Meet,” Ms Dudgeon said.
“The adage ‘One man's trash is another man's treasure’ comes into play with many smiling students taking a new treasure home!”
The events follow a Kids4Kids conference held at the University’s Sandy Bay campus yesterday (19 November), which was attended by 700 students.
Participating schools in the North are Riverside, Invermay, Trevallyn, South George Town, Rosebery, Riana, Somerset, Montello, Cooee and Boat Harbour Primary Schools, plus Wynyard High School and Leighland Christian School.