Over the past few weeks students at Monaro High (Cooma), Bega High, Eden High, Jindabyne Central School and Towamba Public School had the chance to experience first hand the impacts of marine debris.
A lot of fun was had by all participants with many exclaiming shock and surprise at the vast amount of debris that enters our oceans each year. Students participated in group activities to sort debris and guess how long everyday items take to break down in the oceans. Other hands-on activities showed them the tragic consequences that can arise from marine debris.
At the end students are challenged to come up with ideas to help eradicate this problem and many wonderful ideas were put forward, such as:
- More bins on beaches
- Social media campaigns
- Trawlers that pick up rubbish
- Making reusable bags free and plastic bags cost
- Writing letters to companies
- Developing biodegradable materials to replace plastic
- Use reusable items
These programs were made possible through the support from The Australian National University, which contributes significant funds to cover delivery costs, which enables children from across the region to take advantage of these innovative teaching methods.
The Australian Government’s Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) funding supports the ANU Student Equity Office, enabling its ANU Regional Partnerships Program. The ANU provides support to the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre from its HEPPP allocation, working towards the Australian Government’s ambition that 20 per cent of domestic undergraduate students will be from low SES backgrounds by 2020.