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This year’s National Science Week theme was FutureEarth. FutureEarth is based on an initiative launched in 2015 and is a major 10-year international initiative to advance global sustainability science.
FutureEarth is a global community of tens of thousands of world-class researchers, projects and institutes brought together around an international research agenda focusing on sustainability science. The Academy of Science is developing a project office for Future Earth in Australia, and have established eight key challenges to global sustainability.
This year the College ran numerous activities throughout the week to promote Sustainability Science in our community.
Salesian College was a proud recipient of a Government Grant to run a Science Week ‘mycoremediation’ experiment, which saw us growing mushrooms in an effort to break down the College’s waste paper. This experimental focus attracted many students throughout the week who visited the Science labs during lunchtimes to contribute to our College experiment. Other Science Week activities included Oratory and individual science quizzes, photography and creative writing competitions, a Nude Food Day to raise awareness of plastic pollution and the opportunity to make reusable beeswax food wraps as an alternative to cling film. Students also explored methods of sustainable energy production through a range of physics experiments.
We also ran in class activities linking our current topics to FutureEarth, and challenged students to be active members of our community.
Congratulations to the following students who won prizes for their participation during Science Week.
Science Week Honorary Doctorate: Daniel Tan
Science Week Oratory Quiz Winner: 7B
Honourable mentions: 7E, 7H, 11C & 12F
Photography Competition Winner: Ryan Ford
Honourable mention: Xavier Adams
Creative Writing Competition: Tom Ison
Honourable mentions: Alexander Mathieson, Samuel Coronado, Ben Abraham
Science Week Prize Draw Winners:
Our Creative Writing Competition winner, Tom Ison (Year 8) gives us something to think about…
What will our future earth look like?
A robotic voice echoed around me, “initiating exit, please equip your gas mask.”
I did as I was told, and placed my gas mask over my head. Earth’s air quality has been on an out-of-control spiral since the early 21st century. It reached a tipping point, and is now worthy to fit the description of a train wreck. You don’t see people outside anymore (or anything further than 10 metres away) due to the dense smog created by the pollution.
They warned us, the scientists, the politicians, the ‘experts’. We knew it was coming, but did little to stop it. We kept taking from our earth, resources mainly, which make the world go round. We knew this was harmful, but people ‘needed’ these resources. So we kept taking and taking, but we never gave anything back, we dropped our rubbish on the ground, contaminated our recycling. There was the occasional hero out there that made a difference. But on the other hand, there were too many villains, short-sighted as to the reality of the future of our planet.
It was always another person’s problem. The ‘Baby Boomers’ planted the roots, ‘Generation X’ contributed to the issue, unaware of the consequences, and Generation Y thought the Centennials would deal with it. By this point, however, it was all too late. The damage had been done. It can be likened to folding a piece of paper. No matter how many times you flatten or twist it, the creases will always be there.
When the cracks started to show, there were some valiant efforts to save our planet. Unfortunately, at the back of our heads we all knew it was too late. Our once beautiful planet, was now something to behold, for no good reasons, I should add.
Now that our planet was ruined, what were we doing? We adjusted. We do as much as we can indoors, and buildings are sealed, with no air from outside getting in. If you go outside, you do it in a gas mask. Not that there is much reason to go outside. It’s the sort of scene you would have seen in a movie or video game not so long ago. Shop windows boarded up, tarmac in the roads splitting open and cars left lonely and abandoned.
We took it all for granted, and it let it slip through our fingers.
- Tom Ison, Year 8
Ms Irene Apostolopoulos
Head of Science