Science and sustainability

What do baby farm animals, fashion made from bubble wrap, selfies and Gardening Australia’s Tino Carnevale have in common?  They were all part of the St Mary’s College Hobart inaugural Science and Sustainability Fair held on 9 September, in celebration of Kids Teaching Kids Week.

The fair included various workshops with guest speakers Tino Carnevale from Gardening Australia and Greg Irons from Bonorong Park, along with representatives from Brightside Farm Sanctuary, Travel with a Cause, Sustainable Living Tasmania, Replas, the University of Tasmania and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. The fair also included ‘nude food’ lunches, environmental declaration selfies, a milk bottle mural, furry visitors from Brightside Farm Sanctuary, a fashion show with clothes made from recycled materials, and stalls selling free trade goods and organic, sustainable food.

St Mary’s College Science Coordinator, Mrs Heather Omant, said that the concept of the Science and Sustainability Fair came from the desire to celebrate the College’s scientific achievements and share the message of sustainability, which is at the core of the Kids Teaching Kids Week. 'Kids Teaching Kids aims to inspire future environmental leaders to raise awareness and drive action on local and global issues,' Mrs Omant said. 'This is also the core aim of the College’s student run sustainability group, the Footprint Project Initiative, which has played a huge part in organising the Science and Sustainability Fair. The concept of students mentoring and demonstrating to their peers has been shown to increase engagement, enthusiasm and learning, particularly in the area of environmental awareness'

The concept of students mentoring and demonstrating to their peers has been shown to increase engagement, enthusiasm and learning, particularly in the area of environmental awareness

Coordinator of the St Mary’s College Footprint Project, Miss Tanaz Jungalwalla, said the fair aimed to engage and inspire students by making sustainability an exciting, hands-on, and relevant concept. 'We have the privilege of helping students to become responsible citizens in our community who are able to make educated lifestyle and consumer choices throughout their adult lives.'

The College was able to hold this event thanks to securing the Dr Edward Hall Environmental Grant from the Hobart City Council for its work with the Footprint Project initiative, and a grant from the Firestarter Kids Teaching Kids program.  The College also secured a National Science Week grant to explore the theme Food for our Future: Science Feeding the World, supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the Australian Science Teachers’ Association. 

St Mary’s College Principal, Mr Tom Dorey, said Science is one of the recognised strengths of the College and the Science faculty continues to attract attention for its outstanding programs and achievements. 'In addition to receiving three grants for Science projects this year, the St Mary’s Science faculty has gained national recognition from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership for exemplary teaching practice in the area of Science,' Mr Dorey said. 

'Individual Science staff have also been recognised with awards, with Mrs Heather Omant declared the state winner of the BHP Billiton Science Teacher Award and Miss Tanaz Jungalwalla, awarded the STAT Early Career Scholarship in 2013. While our state of the art Women in Science Centre is a fantastic resource for our students, it is our exceptional teaching staff who give them the best advantage.'  

Science and sustainability Science and sustainability 2 Science and sustainability 3