Students to lead environmental projects
Friday, 11 April 2014 12:00 a.m.
Secondary school students from around the Bay of Plenty are gearing up to launch environmental projects in their schools and communities.
More than 60 students in years 11 to 13 from schools around the region began planning projects as part of this year’s Bay of Plenty Regional Council Youth Jam, held in Rotorua.
The annual three-day event supports the efforts by the regional council to engage young people in environmental awareness and action. The aim is to foster environmental awareness, youth leadership and civic participation.
The focus for the 2014 event, which was held at the Keswick Christian Camp at Holden’s Bay, Rotorua, was “Inspire Action – making things happen in your community”.
During the Youth Jam students developed plans for projects to implement within their schools and wider communities, working through the basic steps of project planning to inspire action and reinforce what they are learning at school. They also attended workshops and presentations covering various aspects of project planning and implementation .
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Community Engagement Advisor Janie Stevenson said the event also provided an opportunity to network with other schools and develop ongoing relationships to share environmental projects and collaboration.
“The idea is to encourage and help the students to develop and implement long-term environmental projects and give them the skills and confidence to inspire and empower others to action as well,” she said.
“We also hope to inspire some of the students to consider project management or environmental work as a career path.”
It is anticipated the students will now take their plans back to their schools to develop further if necessary and put into action.
Projects are likely to cover a variety of areas such as energy conservation, waste-reduction initiatives, community gardens, reducing pollution and riparian plantings .
“We expect to see some really great environmental projects being led by the secondary school students who have attended this year’s Youth Jam. They are keen to lead the way and take others along with them and we encourage local communities to show their support,” Miss Stevenson said.
“We were very impressed with the enthusiasm shown by the students this week with the ideas they shared and the plans they produced to get their projects underway. Some great projects have resulted from previous Youth Jam and other youth events and we’re looking forward to seeing the outcomes from this year.”
Caption: Students from Opotiki College base their sustainabilty on social consciousness with a focus on respect, resilience and responsibility.
Caption: Te Wharekura o Mauao present their wetland restoration project at Youth Jam 2014.
Caption: Shezhana Kay Molijn from Western Heights High School and Julie MacDonald from Otumoetai College speak to Sam Judd from Sustainable Coastlines.