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Earthworm awards build community links



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M I N I S T E R F O R

E mployment E ducation & T raining T H E H O N . J O H N D A W K I N S M . P .

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EMBARGOED 11.30 AM WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30,1991

EARTHWORM AWARDS BUILD COMMUNITY LINKS

Some Canberra teachers face a jungle each day when they enter their classrooms at the Isabella Plains primary school. It's not a blackboard jungle , but a vibrant rainforest set up as part of the kindergarten unit's winning entry in this year's national Earthworm Awards.

The awards, an environmental competition for schools, are designed to encourage children to become more actively aware of environmental issues at a practical level.

At a ceremony today at the Australian Museum, Sydney, . . . . Earthworm Award prizewinners from Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and the ACT were presented with their awards by the Hon. Ross Free, Minister for Science and Technology representing John Dawkins, the Minister

for Employment Education and Training.

"The Earthworm Awards are a catalyst for action in stimulating schools and their communities to think about their whole environment and to encourage them to take appropriate action to sustain it" Mr Free told

competition winners.

"The projects undertaken clearly show the relevance of science to the everyday world and to the quality of life in our society".

Prizes for the 1991 Earthworm Environmental Awards have been donated by IBM Australia who provided nine PC/2 computers for state and national awards , Film Australia who provided video packages, Weldon International which provided the major book awards at the presentation, and

the CSIRO for Double Helix memberships to all national award winners and science packages to all state award winners. Other sponsors were Radio National, and the Australian Museum.

Mr Free said that Australia needed to increase awareness of the importance of science and technology at all levels and commended competitions such as the Earthworm Awards for contributing to the national awareness, by involving

students at all levels in the skills of scientific inquiry. ____

COMMONWEALTH P A R L I A M E N T A R Y L IB R A R Y MICAH

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More than 2000 students participated in this year's Earthworm Awards.

This year's winners who were presented with prizes by Mr Free, were:

Individual Primary School Student Award -Janette Lewis,Blackburn Lake Primary School, Nunawading, Victoria, for her project "Survey of Domestic Garbage". Janette compiled a manual

identifying the components in household garbage, and outlined possible strategies to reduce or recycle the contents, all of which could be useful to local councils or other community groups.

High School Individual Award-Amanda Dowling, All Saint's College, Bull Creek, Perth, WA. Amanda's project, "Turnips a Natural Insecticide", looked at the effectiveness of a

natural insecticide found in turnips which could replace some of the more toxic ones found in household gardens or commercial horticulture.

Group or Class Award-Parramatta State School, Cairns, for their project 1 Mangrove Discovery Cycle. The school over a period of many months creatively explored the importance and fragility of the mangroves of the intertidal

zones. Through story, dance, costume, song and painting students created a drama around this environment.

Whole School Award-Secondary

Footscray City Secondary College, Victoria, for their Maribyrnong River project. This project involved the whole school and was aimed at raising the awareness of the history, changes in

recreational and industrial land use and the future prospects for the Maribyrnong River. The project was an intergrated package that included a student- teacher handbook, a play, a video and a manual for use by community groups. This the second year that

the school has won this award.

Highly Commended By Judges

Kindergarten Unit, Isabella Plains Primary School, Canberra.'It's Our Time-Time To Care' a project that involved over 100 kindergarten pupils in turning their classrooms into a rainforest. The project provided many opportunities for children to gain an

appreciation of nature as well as developing a sense of responsibility for the care and maintenance of the world.

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"These students have shown us all how creatively and imaginatively our environmental problems can be confronted," said Mr Free.

"Environmental education spans not only the school curriculum but the whole community. One of the strengths of the Earthworm awards is that they provide the ideal opportunity for enhancing the positive links between school and the community."

Mr Free thanked the Earthworm Award sponsors and called on other major corporations and companies to actively support environmental education initiatives.

October 30,1991 Enquiries:

Mandi Richardson ABC Radio National 02 394 1642 Julia Theodorakis DEBT Public Relations

02 218 8446