Monday, 3 June 2019
A classroom project for Grade 1/2 students at a North Geelong school has led to a school-wide ban on plastic drinking straws.
The ban was introduced in term three last year at Northern Bay College (Wexford campus) in Corio following a series of activities throughout the year that linked with the Grade 1/2 curriculum.
According to classroom teacher Kim Baranowski, the students’ enthusiasm and motivation for their project resulted in the entire student body embracing the straw-free ban.
He said students drew inspiration from 11-year-old Molly Steer from Queensland who featured on the ‘War on Waste’ television documentary with her efforts to ban plastic straws.
After watching Molly’s story, the students quickly organised a lunchtime clean-up of the school grounds, collecting more than 500 discarded plastic straws.
As part of an in-class maths activity, the students threaded each straw together with wool and created a 70 metre-long chain that stretched around the Prep – Grade 2 building.
Mr Baranowski said this activity demonstrated the severity of the plastic straw issue at the school and students were motivated to take action and make real change.
Again, linking their work to the class curriculum, the students each completed a persuasive writing piece in the form of a letter to their canteen manager and school principal.
They requested the removal of plastic straws from the canteen and suggested a school-wide ban.
Their efforts continued with posters created and displayed around the school, while they also took to centre stage at a school assembly in front of 630 students to promote their project.
Paper straws are now used by the school canteen and a large banner on the front fence proudly states the school’s ‘Straw No More’ status.
“The entire school community has supported the project, while we also featured on the ‘Straw no More’ Facebook page,” Mr Baranowski said.
“We even received congratulatory messages from overseas via Facebook. The kids were really excited about this.
“I’m really proud of their commitment to complete a project that has resulted in real change across the school.”