The 5th and last day of this week on sustainability with Goumbook and GEMS World Academy ended with a half day full of practical work. The original plan was to learn more about alternative farming methods on this day such as permaculture and aquaponics, however, the students had lots of ideas for their school, so we pivoted towards this instead. The students built a much deeper understanding of environmental sustainability over the week and it was time to put it into action. The students were to build on the solutions they came up with on Day 2 to redesign the school into a more sustainable version.
The students divided into 2 large clusters one focused on plastic and another on gardening. These groups were further split into more focused components to design and put an action plan for their projects. They combined reusing plastic bottles into pots for plants with reed bed water treatment systems on site along with switching from plastic packaging to biodegradable packaging that could be added to their compost piles. They synthesized the information and developed their projects, presented them to the school administration and started with their first steps all in 1 day!
The school headmaster showed them a space that could be allocated to their gardens and let them know about the challenges they would face in changing the current plastic packaging into the biodegradable or reusable kinds they proposed. The first steps they took were reusing existing plastic bottles to turn them into germination pots for seeds to be used on the germination trays they have in their classrooms (these would then be transferred to the garden space once ready). They also were provided a large compost bin for which they made signage. It was a great ending to a great week with the GEMS WA students and teachers.