MWKTK16 – School Presentations

This year 39 schools put their hand up to create a workshop, video, mainstage performance or Environmental Project Day activity for the 2016 Melbourne Water Kids Teaching Kids Conference. Anyone who has been involved in Kids Teaching Kids knows that you can’t throw a presentation together overnight; it takes many months of research, planning, prop making, trial and error, rehearsals, editing, and of course fun! It may be hard work, but teachers consistently tell us about how much their students gain from going through the process of developing a presentation. In addition to the educational benefits, students show an increase in self confidence, team work skills and assists them in becoming resilient as they will undoubtedly have to deal with things not going right the first time. The sense of pride and achievement that we see in every presenting group is priceless and why we keep doing what we do.

The Kids Teaching Kids team has seen thousands of workshops over the last 17 years and we were really impressed with the overall quality this year.

While we loved them all, here is a snapshot of some of what worked really well (you can read their workshop blurbs in the Conference brochure). You can also check out all the videos and main stage performances from this year on YouTube and more workshop highlights in the Photo Gallery.

Thanks to all the schools, teachers and students who presented in 2016 – without your hard work, we wouldn’t have a Conference!

Coatesville Primary School – Yes You Can, Straight From The Tap!

Type: Workshop
Key message: An understanding of the relationship between groundwater, run off, filtration and how we manage to have clean drinking water
The activities:
  • Water filtration experiment to filter a sample of dirty water
  • Testing different surfaces to compare runoff and absorption
  • Design and test a water catchment
Why we liked it: This workshop was definitely hands on and got the audience involved in every activity. We liked the challenge to design your own catchment and that the audience had to work together to do this.

Aspendale Gardens Primary School – The Garden’s True Champions

Type: Workshop
Key message: The role that worms play in processing organic waste and how to maintain a healthy worm farm at school
The activities:
  • Worm relay race in sleeping bags to collect ‘food’ which can be put in a worm farm
  • Learning the different layers in a worm farm and then creating a mini-worm farm to take back to school
  • Quiz to look at all the different recycling streams that are in place at school
Why we liked it: This workshop was related to projects that are happening back at school; over the last 12 months Aspendale Gardens PS have worked really hard to implement a proper system to deal with all their waste, including compost, worm farms, soft plastics, mobile phones etc.

And how can you go wrong when you have Captain Planet in your workshop!

St Peter’s Primary School, Epping – Dr Green and the Loom Bandit

 Type: Mainstage
Key message: Highlight threats to the local platypus population
The plot:
  • The Loom Bandit (think loom bands) has catpured the last platypus
  • Enter Dr Green (related to Dr Who) who takes a reporter and school students back in time to find out what happened to the platypus
  • Dr Green and his companions capture the Loom Bandit and turn him into a responsible boy and save the platypus in the process
Why we liked it: Not only did the students have to learn about threats to platypus but this project was also part of their English work as they had to learn script writing and the process of editing a script. We also liked that they included pop culture references and used humour to get their messages across (at one stage a fox had to resort to eating KFC as they had decimated the native wildlife population).

Melbourne Girls College – MGC Is STEAM Powered… But Not By Coal!

Type: Environmental Project Day activity
Key message: That climate change is real and to address it we need to reimagine where we get our energy from and how we use it
The activities:
  • Solar panels and how they work to power a water fountain
  • Pedal power vs microwave to cook popcorn
  • Finding out how much energy we use in our everyday lives
Why we liked it: Lots of schools have solar panels on their roof and while student know that they are there, they often do not understand how they work. We liked that this workshop aimed to explain what can be a difficult topic and to propose solutions for how we can reduce our impact on climate change in the future.