RCE Greater Western Sydney - 2018

Think, Share, Act!

Location

Australia
AU
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Think, Share, Act!
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Western Sydney
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Name: 
Damien Feneley
Organizational Affiliation: 
Department of Education and Training (Principal Grose View Public School)
Date of submission:
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Asia-Pacific
Country: 
Australia
Location(s): 
Haweksbury region
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Locked Bag 1797, Penirth, 2751, NSW, Australia
Ecosystem(s):
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Western Sydney is home to about 1 in every 11 Australians, it has the third largest economy in Australia and one of
the fastest growing populations in the country. We are intersected and surrounded by water-ways and bounded
by the world famous Blue Mountains. Western Sydney is also rich in cultural diversity and we speak over 100
different languages. But like the rest of the world Western Sydney is rapidly changing. The gap in social inequality is
increasing. We have increasing housing and urbanisation pressures, transport gridlocks, higher unemployment than
the national average and a steady loss of agricultural land, riparian zones, bushland and biodiversity. Climate change will lead to increased health risks for the young and old, greater variability in our food production systems, increased loss of plants and animals and less water flowing through our rivers and in our wetlands.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
RCE Greater Western Sydney (RCE-GWS) has over 25 regional partners. All stakeholders are committed to the RCE vision of building collaborative and innovative platforms for transformative teaching and learning. Four interwoven regional challenges have been identified for GWS:

1. Transitioning to a low carbon economy
2. Developing sustainable communities; health, housing and transport
3. Ensuring agricultural sustainability and food security
4. Conserving biodiversity and river health
Contents
Status: 
Ongoing
Period: 
April, 2018
Rationale: 
To engage students in Stage 2 (ages 8-10), a pivotal stage in their education and a time when disengagement in learning often begins, in an authentic learning project centred on education for sustainable development. This shared project will develop an awareness of how big ideas, critical and creative thinking, and collaboration can impact the world around them and lead to effective change for a more sustainable future. Student will participate in a series of dynamic workshops and think-tanks to explore current and future technologies and their role in leading sustainable development. These skills will be used in a futures thinking, innovation and design model called Think, Share, Act to bring about a shared community vision of collaboration, higher order thinking, thoughtful questioning and global awareness. Think, Share Act encourages our Stage 2 students to develop ownership of their learning and become aware of how their ideas and thoughts can impact upon the world around them. All projects must demonstrate innovation, creativity and a strong commitment to the ethical considerations that underpin the four pillars of sustainability.
Objectives: 
To establish a more robust continuum of authentic learning experiences across the disciplines of STEAM from primary through secondary. To build the knowledge and skills of students in the innovative use of technology to lead sustainable development. To develop collaborative community-based projects that engage multiple stakeholders.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Annual participation from all 8 Colo Learning Community primary schools at the Think Blast! school challenge day held at Colo HS. Student compete in a series of STEAM activities that develop their creative, critical, technological, and collaborative problem solving skills. Think Blast teams are then responsible for initiating school/student/community led sustainability projects in their school. In 2018 all schools participated in the Think Share Act project that involved the use of technology to gather data on local and/or introduced fauna in our local area and develop a collaborative sustainability project (for example, develop habitat for micro-bats).
Size of academic audience: 
?): 8 x primary schools + 1 x high school + 2 x Environmental Education Centres + teachers + parents. Approximately 500 students would have engaged in this project in 2018
Results: 
All participating schools are currently capturing data on local animal species and sharing their progress through video conferences, You Tube and Facebook. Several student groups have commenced project designs including habitat boxes and frog ponds.
Lessons learned: 
This project is a great success and has developed more momentum than initially expected.
Key messages: 
Enabling students to use engaging technologies to investigate and collaborate on authentic local projects builds deep and meaningful engagement.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
N/A
Funding: 
Funds were received from RCE-GWS/Western Sydney University through a competitive seed funding process. The project funds have been used to purchase 6 x night vision cameras, 2 x flexible inspection cameras (drain cameras), STEAM resources for lesson plans and teacher release time.

Pictures:

File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Think, Share, Act! Report RCE.png (727.84 KB) Exert from school report D. Feneley
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Direct
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Direct
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Indirect
Theme
Curriculum Development 
Indirect
Forests/Trees 
Direct
Plants & Animals 
Direct
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Direct
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Direct
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
Indirect