TEC's popular Ocean Action Pod was down at Coogee for Earth Day last weekend after a busy few months visiting schools and local councils. There are POD posters, visual displays, and lots of stimulating activities available now.
Randwick's recent Marine Festival was just one of the many events our team of Ocean Actioneers splashed into this autumn - after a busy summer working with three primary schools for Ryde Council - Gladesville, Ryde East and Truscott Street.
The POD's day long school programs, complete with games, props and other learning activities have proved so popular TEC is now in the enviable position of struggling to meet the demand. Our team is small, and although it's run by a mix of passionate volunteers and trained educators, the year ahead is already shaping up to stretch our capacity to the max. Well done!
This year the POD team has created several new one day programs for Schools, Community Centres, and Vacation Care Centres. Workshops for councils will eventually be followed by a program for business, which we are very excited about, but which will have to wait for funds to action. Fortunately, our beautiful posters are selling fast.
In the meantime, we are negotiating with councils such as Randwick and Lane Cove to create programs for up to 5 schools each. We feel the message is meeting with such a strong response from children and teachers, that we should catch the wave we have created, and take it all the way.
Our relationship with Randwick Council has been a lot of fun, and is sure to keep growing. We feel confident that our contribution to Earth Day celebrations at Coogee, part of the Randwick Council marine and coastal discovery program, will continue into Winter and next year.
It should be noted, that our team faces Everest every time we take the POD on site - setting up for a day's activities can take several hours, and the pack down is also time and energy consuming. The activities have been carefully designed, to engage children and parents, and their success is in large part due to the attention to detail that has become a hallmark of the POD's education and awareness materials, and programs. But it takes a tremendous amount of thought and passion to refine educational materials such as these.
We also think it's important to listen to our POD visitors, collecting feedback and stories. One three year old recently captivated the entire team with a running commentary of the micro-plastics she was filtering out of our POD sandpit, which she had clearly connected to the perils of plastic facing fish and other marine creatures. It made us feel that our long days in the field, and many more hours spent back in the TEC workshop discussing and developing our educational aims, have been successful way beyond the original parameters of the project.
If we can create plastic awareness in a three year old, we are going to save the oceans from the alarming impacts of plastic pollution, changing behaviours and enhancing respect for this might ecosystem that makes life on earth so rich and beautiful.
What Can You Do?