Thursday, 21 November 2013

Parkerville Primary

This morning we went to Parkerville Primary with a lot of excitement, Simon in particular, as this was Simon's school when he was young. What fun we had there! We got directed to the new library, past all the great little hidey holes and tunnels through the gardens and under bushes where the kids had their "nature play" area - what a fantastic space. In the library we ran our presentations on hollow-using animals and waste to the whole school. 

One thing that always amazes and inspires us in our work is the fantastic questions kids throw at us, and their great understanding of how things work when we throw questions back. Parkerville Primary students were no exception - what a great bunch! Although we could only do the building part of the workshop with one class, the presentations we gave inspired other classes to conduct a cleanup of the school, their cross country track, and a whole lot of other ideas on new ways to recycle their waste. 

While Mrs Boyd's class was putting together seven nest boxes (two Black-Cockatoo, two parrot and three possum), some of the younger classes came in to see what all the fuss was about. We got some of the older students to describe what they were doing and why, much to the interest of everyone. Once all the boxes were assembled it was time to paint, and what better place to do it than out on the lawn under a big marri tree.

Finally it was time to start hanging the possum and parrot boxes, although we had barely got the first one in a tree when the bell rang. Thanks to the students who stayed back after school to help! Due to windy conditions we could not hang the larger Black-Cockatoo boxes on the day of the workshop, but that just gave us an excuse to come back! Under the supervision of a number of classes, Simon put them up when the conditions were safer. There was much excitement to see how he was going to get them up into the tall marri trees in the school ground.

We would like to thank Leonie Boyd for organising the day and the staff and students at Parkerville Primary for making us feel so welcome. We would especially like to thank the students involved in the workshop for their lovely letters of thanks! If any of the students from the school want to tell us what has been using their we would love to hear from you! Please put your comments below.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Bull Creek PEAC

Back down the hill for another fun Re-Cyc-Ology day, this time to work with some PEAC (Primary Extension and Challenge program) kids who meet at Bull Creek Primary every fortnight. We started off the day talking about why we were building nest boxes for native wildlife and why they were mostly made out of recycled material. As usual this stimulated a lot of interesting discussion within the group about habitat conservation and waste.

Then it was outside and into making the boxes. This workshop was a little different from our usual school program as the nest boxes were not being put up at Bull Creek Primary. PEAC is made up of students from a number of different schools, so we made enough boxes for one to be taken back to each of the ten schools.

With everyone working in groups and only a little help from us we got the ten parrot boxes finished by lunchtime. After lunch it was painting time. The reason for painting the boxes is to give them an extra weather-proof coating (especially the cut edges), and so they blend more easily into the trees when they are hung, making them more attractive to the animals.

We would like to thank the PEAC coordinator Ellen Beemster for organising the day, and the kids for making it such a great day for us. If any of the students involved in the workshop or who have nest boxes at their school would like to let us know what is using their boxes, we would love to hear from you. Please write your comments below.