Flushed Away

Home > News and Events > August 2019 > Flushed Away

Young scientists from Our Lady Help of Christians School, Eltham.15 August 2019

The young scientists from Our Lady Help of Christians School, Eltham, are taking the health of their local environment very seriously.

As part of their ‘Flushed Away’ inquiry unit, Year 3 & 4 students have been visiting nearby waterway Diamond Creek to measure the health of their local environment. Together with environmental scientists Dr David and Dr Steve from the CSIRO’s STEM Professionals in Schools program, the students have tested the creek’s water quality including pH levels, conductivity, oxygen levels, turbidity and temperature. They’ve mapped and removed litter, noted vegetation and inspected bugs in the creek. By the time the students conduct their fourth field trip to the creek, they’ll have an impressive collection of data about the health of their local waterway.

For Year 3 & 4 classroom teachers Barbara Cumming and Lindy Chaplin-Holmes, the benefits of working with their students on this unit are clear. ‘This gives our children a real-world understanding of pollution and how it can damage our local environment’, they said. ‘We now have students picking up rubbish around the school because they don’t want any of it to go into the creek.’

As well as support from parents, local members of the public can also see how the students are caring for the local environment. ‘When we’ve been on our field trips, members of the public are intrigued by groups of students taking water samples from the creek’, they said, ‘and then they hear our students explain what they’ve been learning, and they go from intrigued to impressed. These students are gathering data, writing scientific reports and making a real difference to their local community.’

The students are looking forward to sharing their findings with the local council and being able to explain why the Diamond Creek is such a special place.