The Yarra Project Kathryn Patford & Gayle Skinner Brief history of the Yarra Project In 2004 We began a hands on environmental unit with Year 6 children working from Edendale Community farm.It was to address the need to engage the children in relevant realistic curriculum that was identified by the Myprad data. We were assisted by Carolyn Shurey, Errol and Cheryl Mutch. We wrote the unit from the school’s perspective and after several meetings, three months and 9 drafts later we completed a unit for both school and the farm.The Edendale farm project 2006(1).doc The Edendale Project This unit was built around five common environmental problems. Erosion Biodiversity Water quality Energy Recycling The Edendale Project The children were presented with the five problems through a series of lessons and had to come to the realisation that they were all part of the one problem. The Edendale Project Erosion of the banks of the Diamond Creek. The Edendale Project Weed infestation The Edendale Project River bank weed infestation The Yarra Project After appraising the improved student engagement from the Edendale Project we needed to follow up with a unit of study that was both relevant, addressed the VELS standards, have scientific rigour and be engaging to the students. That was when we decided that the Yarra offered such an opportunity. The Yarra Project. We decided to apply for TPL. At the time the Teacher Professional Leave was new. We applied and with the help of Lynda Cutting were successful in receiving 50 days leave. Great….. Now how to go about it. We decided to start at the very beginning - with a creation story from the Wurrundjuri people. The Yarra Project ppt.ppt The Yarra Project The Yarra River offered fascinating history,scientific enquiry And a broad scope to allow the children to participate in research on subjects from artists from the Heidelberg school to water quality analysis. The Yarra Project Water Watch were approached and responded with terrific personnel and enthusiasm to work with our children weekly. The Yarra Project The unit of study was divided into three sections. Field work at the confluence of the Diamond Creek & The Yarra River. Class work that integrated water into maths, english and SOSE soil analysis.doc the age word doco.doc And a web quest that explored the Yarra from six perspectives Waterwatch We worked with Julia Vanderood from Water Watch and devised a water quality program that focused on - Habitat surveys Site surveys Macro invertebrates Physchem analysis Turbidity pH Macro invertebrates This element of the program was very popular with the children and they were looking at bugs. There was a lot of discussion about the significance of the the abundance of the creatures and the children gradually got the idea of the interconnectedness of the invertebrates and the health of the river.macro_id chart from SA1.pdf The paper work is all on the Water Watch web site and is very easy to follow. A3Macrofieldsheet.doc.doc Macro invertebrates The children has to identify similar insects and look very closely to spot any differences. They referenced their findings against Identification charts.buglopedia1.pdf bugs in order.doc Habitat Surveys Part of the process was to produce an overall picture of the site. As we know a river is part of its environment and there are many factors that affect its water quality - phosphates,rubbish,runoff. The children responded well to this part as it gave them time to simply wander around and explore the site - with a clip board. Habitat survey.doc Web quest Our web quest resulted from the need to address all learning styles. This element of the Yarra Project was quite difficult as we were unsure of the Dreamweaver Program. Fortunately we had on staff Len Vardy and Andy Milne who between them succeeded in putting our ideas onto the school web site.http://www.elthameastps.vic.edu.au/ Make a Difference The Yarra Project lasted one term. Following that the children were engaged in a Make A Difference Program where they had to use their knowledge to share what they had learned with an audience. The response to this was varied. They accessed the EPA, ACMI,Nillumbik Shire Council local shops. M.A.D. Matrix (1) & M.A.D.evaluation Matrix completed Finally The Year 2 children are collecting water from buckets placed under every tap at Eeps and watering the Year 1 vegetable gardens Water collecting Water collecting Water Collecting Extra Funding In 2006 a submission was written to Mitre 10 and we were successful in obtaining $1400.00 to purchase extra water quality kits. These will be used for the Years 1 - 4 Water unit.