Classroom to creek

Asset Publisher

07 June 2024

Events and initiatives

Students at a Great Southern primary school are taking a hands-on approach to learning more about the local environment.

Ongerup Primary School is working with the North Stirlings Pallinup Natural Resources to help students gain knowledge of their surroundings and learn real-world science skills.

Most recently, students went to Ongerup Creek for water testing. They also investigated the invertebrates and other organisms living in the water, learnt how to tell if water is drinkable, and discovered the difference between natural bush and cultivated bush.

The students will then visit the same spot in spring and summer to record the changes.

Next term, students will learn about the importance of the creek system to the Goreng Noongar people, while later in the year they will teach their findings about the creek and its ecological system to peers at a neighbouring school.

The immersive learning experience is encouraging and empowering students to protect their local river through hands-on activities and monitoring, providing them with real-world science skills.

After the excursion to the creek, Year 5 student Samuel was surprised by what he learnt.

“I didn’t know creek water could be salty. We are so far from the ocean,” Samuel said.

His classmate Jack in Year 3 agreed.

 “I can’t believe there were things living in that water. They are so small we had to use the microscope to see them properly,” Jack said.

Year 4 student Ari enjoyed the excursion and the findings.

“It was awesome to find out that we have a rare wattle that only grows here in Ongerup,” Ari said.

The project builds on the work the school has done previously to enhance and protect the natural environment, including planting over 300 seeds last year.