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The sixth annual Environment and Sustainability Day.

Wasting the World Away: the ESI’s sixth Environment and Sustainability Day

Year 10 pupils from five schools across Cornwall took part in a series of workshops at the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute for the sixth annual Environment and Sustainability Day: ‘Wasting the World Away’.

The morning began with a welcome talk from Director of the ESI, Professor Juliet Osborne. The students then went to their respective workshops on: Mine Remediation, the Risk of Ocean Plastics, Nature’s Recyclers, and Reuse and Recycle.

Kristy Wallace, Widening Participation and Student Recruitment Assistant, who organised the event, said: “Waste is a topical issue that’s relevant to everyone. We see it in the news every day, and it’s important to try and understand the science behind it, and the long-lasting effects for future generations.”

This topical issue also fits into the current Year 10 curriculum. Darren Gross, a teacher from Roseland Academy said: “At school the students have already been talking about plastic waste, so it was interesting to see the background behind the problems from both a local and global perspective.”

The students were also visited by Rachel Yates from Surfers Against Sewage, who spoke about the organisation’s focus on plastic-free coastlines.

A pupil from Richard Lander said: “They were good workshops; they were engaging, informative and interesting. It’s an important theme for the future.”

After the busy morning the pupils split into their school groups to work on posters based on what they had learnt. It was a close competition, but Mullion School were crowned the winner with a decorative poster outlining the dangers of plastic in the ocean.

The aim of the Environment and Sustainability days is to not only bring up important issues in everyday life, educating the 14 and 15-year-olds with unique and engaging methods, but also to encourage student enquiry.

The ESI’s Teacher Affiliate Programme connects local schools, arranges visits, and creates links between teachers and researchers.

Taking part in the day’s activities were Mullion School, Richard Lander, Poltair School, Roseland Academy, and Saltash School.

Date: 15 March 2018