Sustainability and Science Schools Showcase

In 2022, we hosted the first Sustainability and Science Schools Showcase, bringing 20 schools from across Queensland together to discuss sustainability programs and citizen science projects. In 2023, the Schools Showcase returned bigger than before, hosting 32 schools from across Queensland.

Growing into 2023

This year’s Sustainability and Science Schools Showcase was hosted at The Edge - State Library of Queensland by former Queensland Chief Scientist, Dr Christine Williams. The showcase took place on Wednesday 14 June 2023 and hosted 32 schools from across Queensland. With support from the Department of Education, each of the seven regions of Queensland was represented by at least one attending school.

QUT’s Prof Julie Davis spoke to the schools about sustainability and reminded the students that they were not too young to make a difference and Dr Judy Friedlander and Michelle Neil spoke about citizen science, its importance, and how students could get involved.

Fantastic presentations were provided by six sustainability superstar schools (with two schools providing a combined presentation). Students from these schools also participated in a Q&A panel, inspiring the audience with their sustainability and citizen science projects.

  • Yarrabilba State Secondary College – Conservation, Collaboration, and Compost – YSSC programs creating a sustainable community
  • Worongary State School – Heatwave Heroes: students spearheading citizen science initiatives
  • Kalkie State School and Bundaberg Christian College – Bundaberg Reef Guardian Schools
  • Pallara State School – Pallara Environment Education Program
  • Ripley Valley State Secondary College – The Ignite Program

Eight experts attended the showcase and talked to the schools on topics such as:

  • air quality
  • waste management
  • food waste
  • changing waste behaviour
  • circular economies
  • habitat restoration
  • climate change
  • local citizen science projects.

With the help of the Queensland Museum Network, the Queensland Herbarium, Apple, and Aspire Learning Facilitator, Chantelle Sansness, students got to explore practice taking identification photos for citizen science activities, make homes for native blue-banded bees out of simple clay and sand, and create a sustainability scrapbook of ideas and actions to take back home to their schools.

Looking back to 2022

  • In 2022, former Queensland Chief Scientist Prof Hugh Possingham hosted 20 schools across Queensland at the Queensland Museum to learn about sustainability and science. Listen to Prof Hugh Possingham tell us about the event, why…

    In 2022, former Queensland Chief Scientist Prof Hugh Possingham hosted 20 schools across Queensland at the Queensland Museum to learn about sustainability and science. Listen to Prof Hugh Possingham tell us about the event, why it’s important, and what schools are currently doing to achieve a more sustainable future.

On Monday 20 June 2022, the former Queensland Chief Scientist, Professor Hugh Possingham, hosted 20 schools from across Queensland at the Queensland Museum to discuss sustainability actions in schools.

Guest speaker Kalindi Brennan delivered an amazing talk on sustainability before leading an activity between the mentors and students on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Want to lead a similar activity yourself? Let’s think:

  • Which of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (pictured below) do you think is important for your school to work on?
  • What actions can your school take in working towards this goal? Will they need to be small first steps or is your school ready to take a leap? Remember, all action matters!

Create a mind map for as many goals as you want and inspire you and your school to sustainability action!

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The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

  1. No poverty.
  2. Zero hunger.
  3. Good health and well-being.
  4. Quality education.
  5. Gender equality.
  6. Clean water and sanitation.
  7. Affordable and clean energy.
  8. Decent work and economic growth.
  9. Industry innovation and infrastructure.
  10. Reduced inequalities.
  11. Sustainable cities and communities.
  12. Responsible consumption and production.
  13. Climate action.
  14. Life below water.
  15. Life on land.
  16. Peace, justice, and strong institutions.
  17. Partnerships for the goals.

Four Sustainability Superstar schools presented their sustainability projects and took part in a student-led Q&A session.

  • Belgian Gardens State School – Sustainable actions for life below water and life on land – breeding endangered animals and caring for the Great Barrier Reef
  • St. Helens State School – Creating sustainable, life-long habitats in children through waste streaming and green waste composting in a regional primary school
  • Junction Park State School – Sustainability networks in the school garden
  • Holland Park State School – Bin it!

Sustainability in schools

Former Queensland Chief Scientist Prof Hugh Possingham, 2022 showcase guest speaker Kalindi Brennan, and students and teachers who attended the 2022 event provide answers to what is sustainability and how your school can get started. Watch the video.

Citizen science in schools

Former Queensland Chief Scientist Prof Hugh Possingham explains what citizen science is and how schools can be involved.  Watch the video.