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IBDP Environmental Systems & Societies Excursions


On Wednesday 14 September, a small group of year 11 students gathered at the City of Burnside Council to attend the 2022 Young Leaders Forum on Climate Change: Turning down the heat. Students were captivated by the invigorating speech presented by environmentalist and polar explorer Tim Jarvis. He took us through a whirlwind of facts which highlighted the near catastrophe we are facing due to climate change. Tim has been involved in several enthralling projects, climbing eight glacial mountains, and recreating the famous Shackleton Shipwreck. He finished on a positive note, mentioning his involvement in the Forktee Project which involves restoring 53ha of degraded farmland in SA’s Fleurieu Peninsula. An inspiration speech, that left students feeling optimistic and empowered.

Tim then joined a panel along with a representative from Resilient East, and students from Botanic and Aberfoyle High. After hearing about the great initiatives happening in schools around Adelaide, our students were put to the test – how could NIHS play a role in combating climate change? Working collaboratively, students decided that NIHS could create a community garden. One that could supply our home economics courses with more sustainable food, but also provide an experience for students to learn and understand the consequences of food waste. The idea sparked Jarvis’ interest, awarding us a signed copy of his book as a result! The students have plans to work with the Environment Club to implement the initiatives discussed at the summit.


On Friday 16 September, the IB Environmental Systems and Societies class braved the rain and headed down to St Kilda beach. We were greeted by Naomi from Green Adelaide at the Tackle ‘N’ Tuckle shop and made our way down to the Mangrove Trail. Safe from the stormy weather, we sat inside the visitor centre as Naomi detailed the important role Mangroves play in protecting against coastal erosion and providing a habitat for thousands of species. Jaws dropped when we found out 50,000,000 birds migrate to the region each year, some traveling from Siberia before making their way to Adelaide. However, the region had experienced some recent die back, and we could clearly see the mangroves were dying from. While the weather looked quite dreary, we were still keen to get out into the field to test the water and see if we could determine the cause of the dieback. The dark clouds soon passed, and with the emergence of blue skies we were able to take a large water sample to measure for a range of physical and chemical factors. Having recently talked about eutrophication in class, we were most interested to see levels of nitrates and phosphate in the water. We plan to use this data later for the Internal Assessment in term 4.

Once we packed up our water testing kits and said goodbye to Naomi, we headed back to the playground. I am sure the highlight of the day would have been going down the big slide or maybe the flying fox, but we made sure that we embraced the sunshine before concluding our day at St Kilda.


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