by James Ogilvie – England
We ran a practical workshop at St Theresia 1 Surabaya primary school this morning, where we carried out two different tasks with the children to teach them about the environment in a fun way. These tasks were to make a water filtration system to turn dirty water into clean water, and to make a terrarium, a miniature ecosystem in a plastic bottle.
Yusuke was put in charge of the terrarium task, and I was put in charge of teaching the children how to make a water filtration system; something I had never done myself! The task was really fun actually, both for me and for the children. We made a water filter out of two large plastic containers with layers of fabric, sand and pebbles lining the bottom to act as the filter. We mixed up some mud in some water and put it through the filter, and waited for the results. The first time, worryingly, the water was still very dirty, but after the third time through the filter water was looking almost clear. The children were very impressed, and so was I to be honest!
The terrarium task was also successful with many children making their own mini ecosystem in a plastic bottle. All the children seemed to enjoy both of the tasks, so it was a very successful morning all round.
After lunch we went to a school that we had not visited before, called SMP 25 Surabaya, to run a workshop with a group of students there. We did a similar program to some schools last week, where we asked them to go out and survey the condition of their school and come up with some ways in which they think it could be improved. The children were very positive and enthusiastic, and when we all returned to the class they presented their findings to everybody. Together we came up with several good ideas of things that they would like to see in their school, including cleaning up the school, recycling and composting some of their rubbish and planting some new trees and plants around the school.
Once we had finished discussing this, Yusuke and I spoke to them about recycling and water problems in England and Japan, which they were all very interested in. Before leaving I had to do my impression of a celebrity: lots of photos, and a few autographs… you know how it is!