Competition empowers students to protect our oceans

Competition empowers students to protect our oceans

The world’s oceans are facing a triple threat of climate change, overfishing and pollution, prompting the need for improved education about how these challenges can be overcome.

Not only does the ocean cover 70% of the planet – every second breath we take comes from the ocean, which also hosts 80% of the world’s biodiversity.

A key objective of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is to boost ocean literacy in the formal education sector and create a new generation of ‘ocean leaders’ by 2030.

Ocean literacy is defined as “an understanding of the ocean's influence on you and your influence on the ocean”.

Studies show 63% of young Australians are highly concerned about pollution in our oceans, presenting an opportunity for schools to help make a difference through educating the next generation about the ways in which they can help tackle this important challenge.

Last year, 1,457 schools and 5,400 students participated in Education Perfect’s Sustainable Oceans competition, which aims to ensure that “students walk away feeling empowered rather than thinking the situation is hopeless”.

‘Critical for creating a sustainable future’

Olivia Young, Education Perfect's (EP) Cross Regional Marketing Manager, said the organisation provides schools and students with the resources necessary to take a proactive approach to sustainability education.

“We believe that educating students on the importance of sustainability is critical for creating a sustainable future. Our free lessons on sustainability cover essential topics, such as the impact of a changing climate, how to manage the Earth's resources responsibly, and the relationship between ecosystems, biodiversity, and human activity,” Young told The Educator.

“Animals, Oceans and Us is a free set of resources that provides a curriculum-aligned approach to educating students on key environmental issues such as animal rights and ocean conservation. These lessons encourage critical thinking and support schools' cross-curricular priorities, ensuring that sustainability is integrated into all aspects of education.”

Young said these resources, designed for Years 7-10 across Australia and New Zealand, “affirm EP’s commitment to making a positive impact on the environment through education”.

“As a certified B-Corp company, Education Perfect is committed to sustainability in our day-to-day practices. We prioritise environmentally friendly initiatives, such as organising tree-planting and beach clean-up events and implementing a recycling program in our global offices,” she said.

“Our focus on sustainability stems from our belief that education is the key to creating a more sustainable future. We are proud to be at the forefront of this work and are dedicated to working with schools and students to create a positive impact on our planet.”

Empowering students to make meaningful change

Young said the Sustainable Oceans competition is an important way to not only engage students, but also provide them with a sense of agency by showing them that they have the ability to take action and make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the earth’s oceans.

“Last year's competition was a huge success, with students answering over 1.7 million questions and taking positive steps to address pollution and rising sea levels. This year, we are proud to offer even more resources and lessons, covering a broad range of topics and learning outcomes that will help students discover how they can be part of the solution,” she said.

“The more students learn, the greater their chances of winning, and we are excited to offer two competitions – one for classes and one for individual students. The competition is free for all schools and students, and we have a range of exciting prizes on offer, including Manta Ray Adoption packs, class parties, and vouchers.”

Young said that by participating in this year's Sustainable Oceans competition, schools can expect to achieve a range of outcomes, including greater awareness of the importance of protecting earth’s oceans, students gaining an understanding of practical solutions to address ocean pollution, and a resultant sense of empowerment and agency among students.”

“At EP, we are committed to supporting schools and students in their efforts to create a more sustainable future, and we believe that this competition is a great way to get involved and make a difference.”

For more information or to register for the competition, please click here