Protecting their Patch at Paroa School

| By Enviroschools West Coast

Hine Moana - Atua of the sea, fish, and sea floor.

Students discussed how long this hard gum packet would take to break down…if ever.

Concerned students’ at Paroa School have been learning about ocean garbage patches, and how they can play a part in preventing waste from ending up in the ocean.

Ngahere class started their inquiry learning by discussing how litter that is not picked up, eventually ends up in the ocean.

Being located next to the beautiful Paroa beach, they decided to take a walk to investigate further.

Students were dismayed by the litter they found: in the creek alongside the school, scattered in their bush playground, and dotted along the cycleway and beach.

“The creek runs into the ocean so if any of our rubbish goes into it, it also ends up in the ocean.”

Google Map coordinates as logged by students

Teacher, Rianna Farr, said, “While on our walk we used an app to mark the co-ordinates. Once we were back in the class the kids put the co-ordinates into Google Maps and then added a description of what we found.”

Yazmin Haddock, age 10, commented, “We were shocked at the amount of rubbish we found and the distance it can travel.”

Discussions around how long certain items would take to breakdown ensued, and how they could reduce their waste at school and at home.

To address the situation students plan to conduct regular clean-ups around the school environs, and raise awareness in their community.


Some of the items found by students

Students rummaging for rubbish