This term all of our Year 8 students are participating in an exciting project titled “How Can We Survive a Drought?” Over the next 6 weeks they will learn about the current drought in Australia and work to respond to the personal, social, economic and political impacts of such an event.
Students will be learning about this topic in depth within their classes of English, Maths, Art, TAS, Geography, Science, and Languages. In a small group they will work to prepare a response or solution to one of the many problems associated with drought.
Today the Year 8s were immersed in this topic through our Project Launch Day.
The students were first exposed to the experience of Day Zero through a series of workshops:
They watched some powerful performances by our Year 11 students who enacted the real stories and heartbreak of people living in drought affected communities.
Students considered the financial impact of drought when tasked with creating a weekly budget on a reduced income, and saw how an increase in the price of their groceries forced them to make some hard sacrifices in other areas.
In another workshop, they analysed the quality of different sources of water, and decided how much of each type of water they would need to use for different household activities.
Students discussed the experiences of being a high-school student in a drought affected community with one of our teachers who grew up in this reality.
The wellbeing and mental health of people living in drought was considered as students read and reflected upon recent news articles.
And students acted out some of the social impacts of drought on a town in a hands-on simulation where they were assigned the role of farmer or townsperson, and had to maintain their income and support their families.
Following these in-depth workshops on the experience of drought, students were then exposed to many of the current responses to drought.
Year 9 students presented some technological solutions they developed last year, including an automated shower timer, and a sensor for farmers to monitor the wellbeing of livestock.
Other responses included strengthening city/community ties through Buy From the Bush, the social media campaign #spendwiththem, some incredible poetry, and photography.
At the end of this session, students were asked: How will you respond?
Today showed our Year 8 students the extent of the problem of drought in Australia, and how it really does impact every facet of people’s lives. By the end of this Launch Day the ideas were flowing, and we look forward to seeing the amazing solutions our students develop this term.