Thursday, August 28, 2014

Community Action: Our Bucklands Beach Cleanup with MERC

On the 26th of August 3 Yr 4 rooms went to Bucklands Beach to clean up the beach, learn more about the effects of pollution on the environment, and learn about the creatures that live in the rock pools.

The day was calm and sunny and we arrived at the beach after a short bus trip.  After an important safety briefing by the 6 MERC staff, putting on gloves and getting out our pickers, we got straight into the clean up.  We learned that it takes very careful looking to spot the nasty rubbish.  When we looked along the beach it appeared clean... but when we walked slowly and moved the sand around the high tide mark we found a lot of debris!  We also found litter on the bank leading down to the beach.

We found glass, lots of small pieces of plastic, tops off bottles, drinking straws, plastic bags, rotting fish, fishing lines with hooks still attached, paper, and a used hypodermic needle that only the MERC helpers handled.

Vicky holding up glass

Our Beach Safari Learning Activities:
We spent the second part of our day learning more about why rubbish in our oceans causes so much damage. Some of the information was new to us and was really surprising- for example, how long it takes for different types of rubbish to break down in our oceans!

Learning Station: Oil Spills Kill!

Learning Station: Twisted Tails

Station 3: Rock Pool Scavenger Hunt

Station 4: Shell Identification

Station 5: Stormwater Savers

Station 6: Don't Drop It!

So the message is clear!
After a lovely poroporoake (farewell) in which we thanked the amazing MERC staff (Emma, Lisa, Vicky, Angus, Jono, and Darren and Rebekah) we drove back to Elm Park... tired but satisfied that we had collectively taken action and helped get so much rubbish off Bucklands Beach.

Back at School: Weighing the Rubbish
The next day we collected the rubbish sacks and weighed them using a spring balance weighing device.   We were quite stunned.

The bags weighed a total of 70kg!

Well done Rooms 12, 13 and 14! You did a magnificent job and learned heaps about what happens if we don't take care of our beaches and thoughtlessly throw rubbish away.

Here's what R13 students thought of the day...

I learned that is was important to not chuck your rubbish out because even it it is really far away from the sea it still gets there.  It will never break down.  I am happy I am not a fish but I feel sad for them.  I found out there is an Island of rubbish in the water the size of Texas.

I learned that basically I realised that throwing litter is bad because I used to.  My favourite activity was the oil spill as it really inspired me to not litter.

I learned that rubbish can take a long time to break down.

I learned how to not let the oil spill in the water so it doesn’t kill any other sea creatures.  We had to do the activity so we know what to do and don’t put oil in the water so we don’t kill any more creatures!

What I learned from Bucklands Beach is that to never throw rubbish around and don’t litter.

I most amazing thing I learnt was that there is a floating island that is as big as Texas made out of rubbish.

My most favourite thing was playing every activity.  It was really fun.

The best thing I think was when we were picking up rubbish because it’s good for the environment.

I think the best thing was when we did some activities like the oil spill game because we were trying to get the oil out of the sea.  I learnt that you don’t spill oil.

The thing I loved about my day was learning about the shells and the oil.

What I learned about Bucklands Beach is to never throw rubbish and pick up litter.

I learnt that we shouldn’t throw rubbish in the water, don’t litter.

My favourite thing was when we were doing the activities because I learnt stuff when we were doing them.

I learned that at Bucklands Beach don’t drop rubbish.  If you see rubbish clean it up.

I learned never to dump rubbish in the sea because it does so much damage to the wildlife.

The thing I liked most was the oil spills activity because there was teamwork.

Bucklands Beach gives me information and I know what’s happening to the world.

My favourite thing was the learning activities because I learned how it felt like to be like an animal under water or land with the rubbish or plastic toxic.

The most fun and lesson giving thing was - don’t over fish because if you over fish any fish like sharks will become extinct and then the smaller fish will be out of control.

I learnt that there is a huge floating island made out of rubbish and my favourite part was when we were doing the activities because it was fun and we had to work as a team.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Te Tuhi: Creative Stories

On the 4th of August R13 went down to Te Tuhi to present their dramatic version of Taming the Sun. This famous tale tells the story of how Maui and his brothers caught the Sun, Te Ra, and forced it to travel more slowly across the sky.  It was fun acting the story in the auditorium at the gallery.  It felt really special to have such a big space to act out the story.  Then we went into the studio to make posters.

It was great to be back in the art studio with Jeremy for a lovely art-making session.  Check out the photos below.  The artworks weren't all finished but they show everyone's favourite scene.