Volume 30 Issue 3 - 2 March 2018

Year 9 Tackle Global Warming

At the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) Mr Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, urged delegates to consider the “…human face and dimension of Climate Change”. He introduced 12 year old Timoci Naulusala from Tailevu province in Fiji, whose village was devastated by Cyclone Winston, to present his speech that was submitted for the Fiji National Climate Change Speech Competition. Timoci performed his speech for world leaders in November 2017.


Timoci’s message is simple but powerful:

“The question is not about what, how, who … it’s about what you can do as an individual … “

And this is the driving question behind the first Science project (Assessment Task 1) that Year 9 are working on as a component of the Stage 5 Science curriculum.

This project involves students creating a three-to-six minute call-to-action video that urges people to consider their carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gas an individual, organisation or community produces, and is an indicator of the impact we have on global warming. 

This interdiscplinary unit of work has students learning about science, considering sustainablity, working with technology and learning to communicate through audio visual media.

Additionally, the unit of work has students considering their digital citizenship as they learn to navigate online video publishing sites such as YouTube. When students produce for the public - be it peers, family, or the rest of the world - they want it to be good. Accessing an audience beyond the classroom can provide authenticity to students' work. Tools such as YouTube and other G Suite applications provide an easy way for students and teachers to engage any audience. Students' St Patrick’s Google account provides the ability to create a YouTube channel and upload videos. Content uploaded is tracked and controlled by the College Google account administrators who can take control of the account at any time.

Digital citizenship is a component of the Year 9 Science climate change project. Students will learn about positive engagement with social media technologies when they participate in a YouTube, Digital Citizenship workshop on Tuesday morning. We are aiming to cover the following: 

• Building strong, positive digital footprints
• Establishing an online identity – Screen names, avatars and YouTube Channel Art
• Online reputation management
• YouTube Privacy Settings and Comments
• Cyber-bullying

Students were sent home with a YouTube information sheet for parents that contains information about student YouTube accounts and how they are used. This document is available as an attatchment below. 

It is inspiring to listen to the level of engagement and concern our students have when we speak about the big issues that are raised by a unit such as this. Year 9 students can be the STEM professionals, in the near future, who will action solutions to global problems such as those associated with energy use and climate change. The Year 9 Science team are very much looking forward to viewing the work that comes from this project and we aim to publish (with students' permission) some of the work through Inside Out later in the term. Attached is a copy of the Year 9 Global Warming Project notification. We encourage families to support their daughter's learning by engaging in conversations about household energy use and through watching and contributing to the video work that is part of the project.

If families have any questions or concerns about the assessment task and/or the use of video sharing websites, please contact the Leader of eLearning, Dr Bourne, for further information (eLearning@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au).

Debra Bourne - Leader of eLearning and Library Services & Year 9 Science Teacher