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To the Adelaide Kids Teaching Kids River Conference 2011 Organisers

My favourite part about the Conference was that the activities were “hands on” and you didn’t have to listen to the workshop people talk all of the time.

Secondly, they were entertaining to listen to and not boring. My favourite activity was the “Solar Seat” because it was a question & answer game. It was fun because I learnt a lot about the Solar Panels and where they were in the world.

Thirdly, the botanical gardens were awesome! Because they were, “hands on” too. My favourite activity again was the one where you were looking for little bugs and water critters.

Yours Sincerely,

Jeremy Holt.     

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INTERNATIONAL RIVER HEALTH CONFERENCE IN ADELAIDE

Congratualtions to the 2011 River Health Team

Sunday 23rd October arrived and we were all packed ready to head off to Adelaide for the International Kids Teaching Kids Conference. We travelled by bus with a team of students from Irymple Secondary College and Sacred Heart so we got to meet new people from our area.
Our Mildura West workshop was called: ‘We can’t afford to live without them!’ It was about the issue of urbanisation and the problem that can be caused to the environment. So we were showing how important the wetlands are in any community in our presentation as the wetlands after all are the kidneys of the river! Our play used personification, analogy and puns to get our message across. We demonstrated this through role play to explain the issue and then divided the room into groups for the workshop so we could involve everyone in issues that affected many stakeholders. In the end, we concluded that, we really can’t afford to live without them after all! Wetlands of course!
There were many environmental messages from students all around Australia and the world. It was wonderful to hear their views as well and we all seem to have similar issues to deal with. The workshops were all very interesting teaching us a lot about other areas and their issues. The Environmental Day, where were all split into different groups, gave us many different activities to learn about and at the same time make a difference to help the environment.
Some actions that we could take to prevent climate change are: washing cars and dogs on the lawn, take shorter showers, make sure taps are turned off properly, ride or walk to school, use energy efficient globes and definitely encourage friends and family to do the same.
An important message that we took away from the Conference was, ‘Just because we’re kids, doesn’t mean we don’t have a voice’ and we hope that others will take away the same message.
We would like to acknowledge the wonderful sponsorship by Mallee Catchment Authority for the bus so we could all travel together. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, and we are all grateful that we had the chance to attend.
Kyle, Georgia, Will, Mitch U, Mitch B, Maddy, Leah, Lachlan, Annabel, Olivia, Tyson, Alex and Jeremy, Mildura West Primary School Team.

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Albury Kids Teaching Kids Conference

How could lawn clipping possibly get into the river when I live so far away from the river!


When we, Mildura West went to the 2010 Kids Teaching Kids in Albury, we saw many different acts from other schools. I saw a workshop which was about carp taking over the River and it was a dance-off to show how the carp take over the river. The second workshop I saw was a story telling about all different things that pollute the Environment and cause the river to be a dirty blue colour and then cause blue green algae.

Our presentation was set in a court room where Blue Green Alage was on trial for causing very bad damage to the River. It was great fun to act it out and I think everything went well. A lot of the people who watched said that they learnt a lot from our workshop.

Even though it was a long drive back from Albury to Mildura it was worth it and a lot of fun! I did learn a lot from the Conference and would go again if we are a part of another one!

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Kids Teaching Kids Conference

Making bird boxes at Albury for the Wonga Wetlands

On the 15th of August twelve year six students went to the Albury Kids Teaching Kids Conference. We presented a workshop called Ghastly Guests. It was about blue green algae being on trial for wilful damage to the mighty murray river. We all had lots of fun preparing it and of course presenting it as well. That Monday night we went down to the Albury Entertainment Centre for a fashionable Gala Dinner there was lots of entertainment and fun things to do. On the 17th we went to the Wonga Wetlands for the morning and half of the afternoon. We did at least four activities involving the environment some of the activities were a recycling relay, building bird houses and learning about different sort of soils and comparing them to each other. After the official closing of the Conference we started our 7 hour journey back to Mildura; we got back at about 9:00 that night. We all had a great time 

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Albury Kids Teaching Kids Conference 2010

On Sunday 15-17th August Kelsey, Sophie, Catherine, Bree, Georgia, Cameron, Billy, Josh, Connor and I went to the Albury Kids Teaching Kid’s Conference.

We made a presentation called ‘Ghastly Guests’ about all the pollutants that go into the river causing harm. We also made a workshop that all the kids can work on from what we said in our play. We stayed at a fancy hotel called Quest Albury. There were three rooms I stayed with Mrs. Vorwerk and Bree. Mallee Catchment were very kind to sponsor us for the bus to travel to Albury. 

At the Conference, I went to a workshop named Charlie Carp it was about all the introduced species fighting against the native species. Of course the native species won the Dance-off.

On the activity day we set off to Wonga Wetlands. It was a beautiful day except that it rained and the ground was all squelchy and slippery. I went to a rubbish relay and we had to run around putting rubbish in the right bins.

I really enjoyed the Conference it was a great experience for me and I will never forget it. Hopefully when I go to High School they will have loads of activities like this.

Did you know dog's business is a water pollutant? There is a clear message to ALWAYS clean up after your dog!

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Albury Conference

A group of kids (including me) travelled 9 hours to Albury for a Conference. It was an amazing experience that taught me so much. Thanks Mrs. V!

Here is my letter to thank our sponsors:

Mildura West Primary School

Ninth St.

Mildura 3500

 31/8/2010

Dear Paula,

I would like to thank you for your kind donation of $1500.00 for the Albury Kids Teaching Kids Conference. I attended the Conference because I wanted to learn more about what I can do to help our environment. It was a really great experience because I actually learnt more than I thought I would.

 Our presentation was called ‘Ghastly Guests’. It was about the introduced species and what they do to the rivers health and also many other pollutants such as blue green algae. I was a News reporter and a character called Debbie Dog Lover in our presentation. Debbie Dog Lover was a polluter by her dog Rusty; its poop went down the drains and into the river causing water pollution and blue green algae.

 The audience was surprisingly engaged to what we were saying. It was really pleasing to see. A boy in my workshop group was the spokesperson who went up the front and shared his work. He actually listened to what we said and put it together to present his speech. It’s amazing how we as kids can make a difference.

I went to a workshop called Charlie Carp; it was about a dance-off of native fish and introduced fish. In the end it was up to us who won. I met lots of people on the days of the Conference who were really passionate about the environment. 

To help Climate Change I will turn off the electricity in my house when not in use such as; turning off the conditioner and heater, walk more than drive and teach other kids at other conferences what we can do.

Some messages that I hope kids from the Conference will take back to their schools are; no matter what age we are we can still make a difference, our pollutants end up in our resources and destroy it.

My highlight was when I got up and asked a question but before I could Arron Wood interrupted and said,  “This is Indi Clarke’s little sister from one of the first River Health Conferences”. It was a very proud moment for me.

Thank you very much for your kind sponsorship for us to go to the Albury Kid’s Teaching Kid’s Conference.

 Yours sincerely,

Maya

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The 2010 Albury Kids Teaching Kids Conference

Are fertilisers water pollutants?

On Sunday the 15th August at 8:00 am, our 27 seater mini-bus left Mildura on a 7 hour journey to Albury, NSW.  We shared the bus with Irymple Secondary College.

On Monday morning, we left the Quest Apartments to walk to the Albury Entertainment Centre where we would perform our workshop and watch others perform theirs. After breakfast, there was an hour of introductory speeches and then a performance from Diamond Creek Primary School, followed by an expert panel disscussion. The expert panel gave us lots of interesting answers and the schools asked a lot of interesting questions. Then we had lunch.

After lunch we watched Irymple Secondary College’s performance about invasive introduced species. They conveyed a clear message “The Only Good Carp Is Dead Carp.”

Then there was Ballarat Christian College. They gave an interesting presentation about their local creek and how they look after it. It was a very interesting workshop and I say well done to them for taking that responsibility.

Our workshop went quite smoothly, I enjoyed asking questions and seeing all the different points of veiw other students have.

Going to Albury was a great experience and I would like to thank the organisers and Mrs. Vorwerk.

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Watching Albury kids

Is blue green algae the worst water pollutant?

The kids did a great job perfecting the show, ‘Ghastly Guests.’ I learnt that not just blue-green algae dirties the water; there are other water pollutants that also cause harm. I can’t wait to see the show tonight as well!!

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Albury 2010 Kids Teaching Kids Conference

Albury was awesome!
We got to stay at a 5 star motel and our performance went very well.
Anyone that didn’t go should have gone it was great.

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International River Health Conference in Canberra 2009.

All aboard! On the Saturday 17th October 5 teams of students and teachers from five Mildura Schools: Red Cliffs Secondary College, St Joseph’s College, Sacred Heart, Irymple Secondary College and us: Mildura West Primary School  travelled on a bus for 10 hours to go to Canberra for the International River Health Conference. There were 48 people on the bus. On the way we got to meet each other and soon learnt names of the people on board the bus. This was a highlight of our trip meeting new people from our district.

 

We were very fortunate and thankful to have sponsorship and donations of goods from Mallee Catchment Authority, Australia Post, Woolworths and Bunnings to make the trip possible for all of us.

 

Our presentation called ‘Let the Rivers Run?’ was about river regulation and all the benefits but also looked at some unfortunate disadvantages such as the suffering by the River Red Gum trees. We looked at four major structures to include in the performance. It was a lock, weir, regulator and a fish ladder. Our presentation was well planned and very enjoyable. We worked hard to research the topic and were able to do this with the help of our mentor, Paula Robinson from Mallee Catchment Authority and changed our presentation many times to make it better and easier to understand for the audience. Our introduction was an analogy showing how the rivers used to run free carving their own journey and now regulation helps many people and animals with their use of the river.

 

At the end of the presentation where we taught the audience how all of these structures worked for river regulation, we invited  the kids do  hands on activities building these particular structures: a regulator which stops big fish getting through and encourages breeding of native fish – excluding pesky carp, a weir that controls the flow of the water, a lock that lets the boats through taking the boats to the  different water levels and a fishladder that lets the fish ‘detour’ around a lock and/or a  weir.

 

At the Conference we learnt that to have an impact on climate change we all need to  reduce our footprint by using environmentally friendly actions. None of the things we need to do are difficult such use energy wisely – turn off the lights, computers, use green reusable bags to go shopping, carpool and use less water. It is important to get family and friends involved with reducing their footprint so they are more resourceful.

 

Some of the highlights: being on live Internet with our presentation, meeting new people, going to new places, learning from other kids across Australia, learning about the environment and just being chosen to go!

 

One of the best things we learnt was that no matter how small you are you can still be heard when you have something worthwhile to say about the environment.

 

It was a great trip and we all hope that more children from our district can go in the future. We would recommend this experience to anyone who is interested in environmental issues. The River Health Conference has been a life changing opportunity and we will remember it for the rest of our lives.

               Mildura West PS River Health Team 2009  

 

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Mildura West Primary Students Visit Canberra For International River Health Conference

Recently thirteen students from Mildura West Primary were chosen to attend the MDBA International River Health conference in Canberra.

They departed from Mildura on Saturday the 17th of October at 9 o’clock. We interviewed one of the students attending Jake Cumming about the trip and he said “It was a once in a life time opportunity to attend this very important environmental conference”. “I recommend that any students, who are given the opportunity to help our Murray River environment, should jump at the chance.” 

Whilst in Canberra, Jake and his fellow students conducted two workshops about the Murray River and how man has regulated its flow. The group explained to attendees how regulators, locks, weirs and fish ladders operated to help sustain a healthy river environment

Some of the activities and that Jake attended were being involved in a memorial service at the Australian War Memorial, having a tour of New and Old Parliament house, Watching other presentations by other students from around the country, going to Questacon and many more.

When the students returned on Wednesday the 21st of October they were sad to leave Canberra but were happy to be back home with family and friends.   

 

 

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INTERNATIONAL RIVER HEALTH CONFERENCE CANBERRA

All the best to all the students representaing Mildura West at the River Health Conference in Canberra, leaving on Saturday 17th and returning Wednesday 21st October.

 

The students have researched, planned and practiced their workshop presentation, ‘Let the Rivers Run?’ after school on Thursdays during Terms 3 and 4. Their topic covers the advantages and disadvantages of river regulation told by some very interesting characters such as: Rocky Regulator, Lucy Lock, Wendelle Weir and a set of twins: Billy and Bob the Builder.

 

We are very grateful to all of our sponsors making it possible for our team to attend: Mallee Catchment Authority, Australia Post, Mildura Rural City Council, Woolworths, Bunnings and Mildura West parents financially as well as their encouragement and support.

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MELBOURNE WATER CONFERENCE 2009

Whoosh! The plane lifted off and eight of us  representing  Mildura West and regional Victoria  were off to the Melbourne Water Conference. We landed in Melbourne and caught a maxi taxi to the hotel where we stayed not far from the Etihad Stadium.

The Conference was held at the Etihad Stadium and we had been invited to present the topic: ‘Creating Water Smart Cities – a country perspective.’ This was a Main Stage performance so that we could show the city kids that we also need to be careful how we use water in the country. Our presentation was about our region being a very important food bowl and we wanted the audience to understand the following messages:

  • Be smart and save water wherever you live.
  • Don’t use flood irrigation use drip irrigation because it saves water.
  • The Sunraysia region grows most of the food that is eaten in Melbourne and also 21% of the wine grape crush!
  • That we country kids are trying to save water too.
  • We also need to create water smart country areas too not just water smart cities.
  • Mildura is important food wise and is also water wise.

 Our play used a variety of characters to show the changes people have to make due to reduced water allocation and that it can be done and still food can be grown.

More than a Water Conference

For World Environment Day as part of the Conference activities held at the Melbourne Zoo;  we  had the opportunity to build bird boxes sponsored by Bunnings. These boxes were then taken to Kinglake West to help the bird life return to the bushfire areas. We built the boxes by nailing the walls to the base, then nailing on the roof. Everyone in our group of four took turns hammering and we also added a stake to the box. The best part was drawing on the boxes. To help the birds we drew pictures of species that are found in the Kinglake area and an arrow to the hole in the box to show where the bird could enter.

The most important things we learnt at the Melbourne Water Conference were:

  • That everyone was trying to get their towns or suburbs to save water.
  • Everyone not just country kids are trying to save water.
  • Save water and don’t waste it wherever you are
  • How to make bird boxes to help birds return to fire ravaged areas as well as saving water.
  • Soils use different amounts of water so we need to know what soils are the best to plant in to save water.
  • That we can all make difference.
  • Being WATERWISE is everyone’s business!
  • Every drop of water is precious and needs to be used wisely.

We would like to thank our mentors Paula Robinson from Mallee Catchment Authority and Maxine Schache DPI.

Amelia, Teagan, Indi, Jake, James, Ashley, Courtney  and Abbey.  Mildura West Year 6 students.

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TRAVELATORS AT AIRPORTS

WHAT IS A TRAVELATOR?

 When we went to the Melbourne Water Conference we had great fun on the travelators at the airport. They are like an escalator but don’t go up or down. They are flat and horizontal and move just like an escalator. I found some information.

Reference: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327174.900-airport-travelators-actually-slow-passengers-down.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

 YOUR flight leaves in 10 minutes and you’ve only just made it through security. As you run to your gate you come to a corridor with a moving walkway. Should you hop on?

 Airport travelators actually slow passengers down!  Have you ever wondered how much time you can save by walking on travelators at the airport? It might not be as much as you think.

A recent study by Manoj Srinivasan, a human movement researcher at Princeton University, used maths to analyse how people travel on these walkways. Manoj created two mathematical models. One assumes that people walk in a way that minimises their energy use. The other looks at the way we interpret signals from our eyes and legs.

 The models predict that people stepping onto a travelator slow their walking by about half the speed of the travelator. This could be to save energy or to close the difference between the speed that we see and the speed that our leg muscles are actually taking us.

It is predicted that a travelator will only shave off about 11 seconds when travelling 100 metres – even under the best conditions when there is no one blocking the way and no baggage.

Seth Young, a researcher now at Ohio State University, observed travellers at San Francisco and Cleveland airports. Seth found that it tends to take longer to use the travelator than to walk because it is likely that other travellers will block the way.

 On the other hand – despite the possibility of it taking longer to get from A to B – these walkways do reduce the distance that you walk. This saves energy, allowing tired travellers to rest.

Travelators are great fun for kids!

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Melbourne Water Conference 2009

What a terrific presentation at the Etihad Stadium in the Victory Room on Thursday night 4th June 2009. The topic ‘Creating Water Smart Cities – a Country perspective’ was very well received by the audience.
Thank you to Woolworths Mildura for supplying the fresh fruit and veggies for the play. Thank you to our mentors Maxine Schache and Paula Robinson.

Congratulations Ashley, Courtney, James, Jake, Teagan, Amelia, Indi and Abbey. You were all fantastic ambassadors for Mildura West.