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How can we do more with less?

On Thursday the 19th of March the Mildura West Primary School Environmental group went to a Conference called Do More With Less. This Conference was to teach kids about doing more things with less resources. There was an exercise bike and if you pedalled it fast enough you could power 3 lights or a fan or a kettle. I think it would be good to have one of these at school to power something we use.

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‘Do more with less’ Conference

I had a wonderful day at the ‘Do more with less‘ Conference, which was held at St.Joseph’s Stadium, last term (Term 1).It was awesome experiencing all the different things about schools,saving power and doing more actions to help the environment .I met lots of other kids, and also learnt a bit about some of them.

I enjoyed learning about how solar systems work and what they are.The things that I learnt about were:

1.Solar

2.Making power without electricity

3.Ways to make our environment more energy efficient

The Conference was a wonderful experience and I loved learning lots of new things and meeting new people.

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Do more with less!

On the 19th of March the Enviro Team went to St Joseph’s College to a Conference called ‘Do more with less.‘ We were taught ways to save energy and do more with less things. For example: recycling instead of taking it from the earth over and over again instead you can reuse it.

We were also taught about solar power and how it is one of the best alternatives for energy!

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Do more with less! How can we do this?

Last term we went to the Do More with Less Conference at the St Joseph’s Stadium. I had a great time on the exercise bike, powering the vacuum cleaner, light and kettle just by pedalling the bike, I was so glad I got to have a go to see that getting exercise can be useful and power something at the same time!

 

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Murray Darling Conference

I enjoyed participating at the Conference and had a variety of roles. The main focus was water pollution and what we can all do to keep the Murray healthy! Before you act think about the consequences!

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Mildura West Students inspire audience at Murray Darling Conference

A group of Year 5/6 students from Mildura West Primary School have performed a thought provoking drama in The Setts after weeks of assiduous rehearsals. The strong-willed youngsters put all their hard work and dedication to test in front of around 300 viewers at the Murray Darling Conference. Their devoted teacher, Mrs. Vorwerk, supported the pupils throughout the whole exercise. They clearly expressed how the ways human behaviour could trigger water pollution and how to be proactive to minimize harm caused to the river. The team emphasised  the carelessness of irresponsible humans and passed on their key message along with a bag full of humour. They inspired everyone present by highlighting that anyone, anywhere, anytime can make a difference to the wellbeing of the river!

A group of characters convincing the audience that they are doing the right thing for the Murray River!

A group of characters convincing the audience that they are doing the right thing for the Murray River!

 

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The whole cast!

'Who's to Blame' cast

‘Who’s to Blame’ cast

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Picture Gallery from the Murray Darling Conference.

Jack opening the presentation ‘Who’s to Blame?’

Candy Catchanothing could not care less that the lawn clippings end up in the river!

Candy Catchanothing could not care less that the lawn clippings end up in the river!

Gretal Gardener does not care about the pesticides that end up straight in the river!

Gretal Gardener does not care about the pesticides that end up straight in the river!

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Which characters would you blame for pollution in the river?

Image of students from the play Who's to Blame?

Image of students from the play Who’s to Blame?

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Keep our waterways clean!

Analise Average, Cindy Catchanothing, Hannah Hardworker and Donald Demolisher all have something in common. They could not care less what goes down the drain! They all need to make some better choices!

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WONGA WETLANDS NSW

Making a bird box for the Wonga Wetlands at Albury to encourage more bird life.

When we were in Albury, we went to Wonga Wetlands. They closed the whole Kids Teaching Kids Conference at the end of the day. Unfortunately we had to leave early. But during the day it was great fun.
We had 3 activities before lunch and one afterwards. The first activity we did was working with the Bunnings Team to make birdhouses. I worked with Maya and we finished ours with no mistakes. We got to decorate then after we had finished, and they were to hang them up later in the day in the Wonga Wetlands. It was probably the best activity we did that day
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The second activity we did was the Recycling Relay. We had a session first for what is good and bad for the environment, and then we got into 3 groups and did the relay. First we needed to pick up a piece of rubbish and it could have been rubbish, recycling, or compost. Then we had to skip down to the bins, put it in the right one and hop back.
At the end we looked at the bins and the right ones and then we chose the winner.

The third activity; we went into a room with 3 boxes full of soil. I got the one with the dirt from the veggie patch. There was a big grub in there and we found a mite and a little spider. Once we found them we were allowed to take them up to the microscope to have a look at them. Others found lots of different things in their tubs.
After that activity we had lunch: salad rolls, cake and cookies if you wanted and also juice.

The fourth activity was a dirty one. We had to get clay and other soils and put water in them and then we had to try making a ribbon made out of the soil and then with the ribbon we needed to fold it. If it did we followed the sheet to see what type of soil it was.

After all the activities were done we went back to the chairs and sat down in the front row. Arron Wood closed the whole conference. And then two people from each school went up and said what they had learnt and what they will take back to their schools. Jake and Maya went up there and said that they will take back all of the information they have learnt from this trip. Once they had gone up unfortunately we had to leave. It would take a while to get back to Mildura so we all left early.

Albury was a really good experience and whoever is lucky to get picked to go will love it hopefully as much as I did.

MWPS Albury Conference Team at the Wonga Wetlands

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Wonga Wetlands at Albury

Constructing bird boxes for the Wonga Wetlands

On Tuesday the 17th August we got up and got ready to go to breakfast. After breakfast we made our way to the Wonga Wetlands to do a number of activities. When we arrived we were split into groups.

Our first activity was Bird Box Making with people from Bunnings. It was very simple and lots of fun. I made a bird box with Blair who was from Albury. When we finished the boxes we decorated them.

The next group was all about reducing, reusing and recycling. We learnt about who pollutes the river and how. After that we did a recycling relay. It was a lot of fun. We had to get an object out of a bag and then skip down and put the item in one of the three bins correctly.

Then came Water Pollutants! We all got a jar containing some sort of water pollutant, we poured it into a container of river water and when we put the contents of our jar in the water it looked disgusting. We then tried to make the best filter out of a number of rocks and sands.

When we finished there we went where we met to have lunch. After lunch we had one more activity. It was looking at bugs and all kinds of insects under a microscope. We found a little centipede and that kept climbing out from under the microscope.

At the end of the day we had a reflection. After the reflection we got on the bus for a long trip home. Wonga Wetlands was great and I really enjoyed it.

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MDBC Victorian Youth Environment Conference

Last Monday 3 groups of students from Mildura West went to the
Victorian Youth Environment Conference for this year.

One of the groups was doing a presentation about the Living Murray project, another group’s presentation was about Riparian Zones and my group was doing a presentation on Environmental Flows to set the scene for the Expert Panel who were talking about this subject.

Here is what we did:

“Presentation by Mildura West Primary School on water allocation

“Water Allocation and Victoria’s River systems – is there a happy balance?”

Joel: Welcome to our radio broadcast this morning. We’re here to discuss water allocation and how we can achieve a balance.

Brea: Our topic this morning is environmental flows.

Trent: Have you heard of environmental watering?

Meg: Isn’t that the same thing as environmental flows?

Tanzina: Environmental flows or environmental water is a water allocation used to improve the health of a waterway. It’s easy to remember ‘Water for the environment = environment flows.’

Mikaela: Hey …We must remember that water allocation has to be fair for all the users of the river to support industries such as agriculture, recreation, tourism as well as the health of the river.

Rheanna: The Murray River is regulated with weirs and locks ensuring there is a water supply for drinking water and irrigation to grow crops.

Kira: And don’t forget all of our food production relies on water. Irrigated crops now even face water shortages.

Joel: We all know irrigators do want more water but they also care and want soil protection, pollution prevention, and restoration and protection of habitats so that they can continue farming.

Tanzina: And having locks is a benefit as it means the Murray can be navigated for recreation such as houseboats, tourist cruise boats and other recreational craft.

Meg: The locks and weirs on the Murray make an enormous contribution to the tourist industry in South Australia and the Mildura -Sunraysia Region.

Kira:…But.. hasn’t river regulation reduced the number and the size of floods because the water is stored changing the natural water flow of the river?

Kristin: So let me get this right! An allocation of environmental water needs to happen to protect the health of the river such as watering River Red Gums, flooding wetlands and swamps.

Meg: Waterbirds and other aquatic animals need to breed and carry seeds from native flora.

Joel: Without environmental flows we could be facing disastrous consequences as there are many parts of the Murray suffering…

Rheanna: [interrupting and yelling from the side but not appearing on stage]…Suffering! What would you know about suffering?

Trent: We will quickly cross to our live studio where we will see some of the effects of lack of environmental watering!

Mikaela: [On stage all team in formation with Mikaela at the front] My family, [sweeping arm to include all the dance team] the River Red Gums has been around for centuries. We’re meant to live for hundreds of years!

Brea: [loud voice] Usually.. we can survive a drought but not this time for some of us… [hang head sadly]

Kristin: We’re the best! Without us the whole of the web of life is affected!

Kira: We think actions speak louder than words… we will show you why we need water.

The Dance of the River Red Gums:
Start off very healthy fit, quick movements
Danger coming in the distance – still healthy but cautious
Water becoming scarcer
Green vests thrown away to represent the river Red Gums starting to die – just left with brown t shirts and feeling sick
Slow the dance and end up dying of thirst

Joel: Oh this is a disaster people! It certainly looks as though we have an emergency on our hands.

Tanzina: That gives us all something to think about why water allocations need to include environmental watering

Trent: There are many stakeholders using the river for many different worthwhile purposes.

Mikaela: All of these people need to work together and discuss how they’re going to care for the health of the river so we can all use it.

Rheanna: We’re now going to cross live to the Expert Panel for more information about this important topic!
Thank you

I would like to thank Mrs. V and Gloria for helping us prepare our presentation. It was a great experience!

Tazz

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MDBC Victorian Youth Environment Conference

For many people September 8th and also September 9th was very memorable with lots to learn and think about.
The Living Murray Project helps us learn what we can do to support the health of the river. We know that riparian zones are like the lungs of the river and filter everything so litter for example does not even get to the river. Water allocation is difficult as there are many users of the river. It is important to care for the health of the Murray especially the River Red Gums.

What are your ideas about these issues? What can we all do to help the Murray?

At the Conference there were many experts to answer questions about
‘Water Allocation and Victoria’s River Systems – Is there a happy balance?

What point of view do you think the following people might have about this topic? You might like to choose one person and write what you think their point of view might be.

  • Wendy Craik: CEO Murray-Darling Basin Commission
  • Howard Jones: Chairman NSW Murray Wetlands Working Group
  • Peter Kelly: River and Wetland Health Manager, Mallee CMA
  • Camille Mansell: Sunraysia Mallee Economic Board
  • Brian Grogan Chairman Murray-Darling Environmental Foundation