STEM sessions put theory into practice for the environment

News article |

About 100 students from local schools joined recent outdoor sessions to learn about the science, technology, engineering and maths involved in managing the region’s water and drainage systems.

The South Eastern Water Conservation and Drainage Board and the South East Natural Resources Management Board gave the students hands-on experience as they outlined some of the region’s intricate drainage network and water monitoring operations.

Delivered by Natural Resources South East (NRSE) staff, the program of outdoor sessions gave students the opportunity to get out of the classroom and experience STEM in action.

Students from local schools including Grant High, Millicent High, Mount Burr Primary, Millicent Primary and Rendelsham Primary schools attended the STEM sessions at 8 Mile Creek near Ewens Ponds Conservation Park and Stony Creek near Canunda National Park.

Grant High School teacher Josh Praolini said that students were able to be involved in practical activities that related to the work they had done in class.

“The field trips connected our classroom work to the workplace and to the environment,” Mr Praolini said.

“It is fantastic for students to be able to be involved in this work and help to support the area they live in.”

The NRSE Drainage Operations team led a hydrological monitoring session, demonstrating how to measure water levels and flow rates, as well as how to access the Department for Environment and Water’s surface water database with real-time updates.

The next component of the outdoor sessions involved learning about how the greater ecosystem is reliant on the water resource.

The NRSE NRM Education team led sessions explaining how the aquatic organisms known as macroinvertebrates are a good indicator of the condition of a water resource and play an important role in the food chain.

Students then were able to collect, identify and discuss their findings with their groups and determine the current health of that location in the drainage network.

“Students could see how STEM is used locally to effectively manage the region’s water resources,” Mr Praolini said.

“The opportunity for students to be able to work with experts and learn outside the classroom is very exciting.”

More STEM activities are planned for the coming months, including Water Week at Bool Lagoon in October. For more information or to get involved, contact the NRSE NRM Education team on 87351177.

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