Students think about climate change | PHOTOS

Year 7/8 students at Ceduna Area School delved into climate change to develop their understanding of the effects and impacts caused, as well as examine measures they could take to minimise their contribution to the issue.

Students viewed the video 2040, and were then provided with information to develop their understanding of climate change and to formulate an opinion on the issue.

These were entered in the University of Adelaide's Planet Fix competition, which called for young people to explain in 50 words their opinion and plan for the future.

"Climate change must be taken serious immediately, we cannot waste any more time as the earth we live on is dying," Grace Kupsch wrote.

"I think we should plant more trees, bushes and any other plants to add more growth and life to our planet," Christopher Couttes added.

Others, such as Shay Dunn and Ronan Mack, said that the use of electric vehicles, converting to solar power, reducing waste and investing in energy-efficient appliances, would assist.

Students in groups were then assigned the task to plan, design and construct a residential block, with houses that reflected design features needed for environmentally sustainable living.

The houses incorporated solar power, insulation, correct positioning, recycled water systems, carpet-free flooring and outside measures including garden mulching, vegetable gardens and tree planting.

The development of new environmentally friendly products saw students visit Ceduna's Hungry Jacks outlet to try out their new rebel whopper - a meat-free burger made from plant protein.

Students were mostly happy with the burger, but commented that it cost more than a normal burger, and found it to be the case with many new environmental practices - the cost is more than that of traditional options.

Using a carbon calculator each student calculated their carbon footprint, and with this figure they could identify and examine steps to reduce their contribution.

Students were able to compare the differences in each other's footprints and clearly saw the result of what actions others were taking.

Designing a poster which conveyed a message about climate change gave students an opportunity to establish their viewpoint on the topic.

Posters were required to inform readers of the issue, identify any consequences and to highlight realistic and achievable measures which could be taken to ensure a safe and sustainable long-term future.

Teacher Ian Macgowan said looking at the issue was beneficial for students.

"In completing the required learning tasks throughout the unit, students have had the opportunity to determine their personal opinion about climate change armed with specific facts and details, free from the emotional hype which continues to surround this important issue," he said.

"Now each of them can make an informed and rational decision in relation to their future living practices."