Did you know that World Oceans Day has been celebrated on the 8th of June every year since 1992?
Until now, most of us may have been unaware of this obscure fact. However, as the climate change agenda gains momentum, our oceans are finally beginning to attract the worldwide attention they need.
Testament to this increase in awareness are the projects taking place at Haut-lac International Bilingual School as our students throw themselves behind the cause. Across the school, some amazing projects have taken place to tackle the issues of water pollution and encourage a more sustainable mindset in our young charges.
P4A has been learning about water pollution, nurdles and gyres, like the great Pacific garbage patch. They even made board games to help educate other children about pollution and global warming, which they plan to share with P3A. Passing knowledge down from teachers to students, and then from students to their younger peers is a really valuable way to help everyone cement their knowledge, become aware of this big issue and have some fun!
Inspired by the French documentary, "Sur le Front des Océans", our bilingual P4 classes have also been looking into the topic. They used their iPads to put together eBooks filled with information on ocean pollution, and made stop-motion videos that follow the plastic to micro-plastic journey. These are greatly informative, and worth a watch! They have also been developing their computer skills through the creation of ocean-themed designs on a new app called Amaziograph.
As part of her class project, Carole in P5 even went so far as to make a presentation about the blue whale and why it is endangered. She then built her very own impressive whale sculpture.
In secondary, our MYP2 students have delved even further into the issue of micro plastics polluting our oceans and waterways in science class. They have been studying the moral, economic and environmental effects topical, contentious issues like this one have on our planet; writing in-depth essays on the trajectory of micro plastics and their influence on the lives of both humans and sea creatures; and creating interesting presentations and awareness-raising posters for World Ocean Day!
Some of our MYP4 and 5 students also chose to highlight the plight of our oceans for their MYP (Middle Years Programme) Community and Personal Projects, with spectacular results.
Sofia and Alessandra, who are both on the school’s environmental committee, collaborated to design a beautiful comic strip about a woman of the future coming across a cave painting of the last blue whale. Through their art, the girls are predicting our planet's future and hoping to raise awareness of the lasting effects human activity might have on our oceans.
Carole also completed her Personal Project with a similar focus. She says, "I decided to raise awareness about plastic pollution in our oceans. I am very interested in impact of humans on the environment, and I thought this project would be a perfect way to display this and make an impact. To achieve this I created a fish out of trash that I had collected on streets and by the edge of the lake in Vevey. Hopefully my product shocks people, and makes them realise that the plastic waste we create is having a terrible impact upon marine life, and that this has to change."
Our young people are becoming far more educated about the repercussions of human activity on our oceans than any generation before them. Therefore, if these projects are anything to go by, they will make sure the world listens when they choose to speak.