TIn honour of Earth Day, Oakhill College set aside the day to provide an opportunity for every student to make their contribution towards investing in our Planet Earth! Each grade had a specific project which they were involved in for the day.
Grade 8s partnered with “The Strandloper Project” and they spent the morning on Swartvlei Beach, where Mark Dixon took them through a “Trashy 20 Transect”, looking at the impact of microplastics on our marine life and then he explained the Intertidal Zones to them and the intricate relationships of the marine organisms in these different zones. The students made use of the Cyber Tracker App to capture data on the trash collected, which they will use to do some data analysis.
Grade 9s built insect hotels with raw materials which they collected in the week leading up to the day. These insect hotels will be placed around the College. The creativity and enthusiasm shown by the Grade 9 students surpassed all expectations and they undertook their project with dedication and commitment! Melanie De Morney, an Entomologist from SanParks also presented a very interesting talk on the importance of insects in all ecosystems.
The Grade 10s are taking part in an innovation competition being run by The Strandloper Project, entitled Plastic Capture Innovation. The students designed a concept for barriers that remove plastic and microplastic pollution from the flow of effluent in municipal infrastructures, to prevent this pollution from reaching the ocean. Should any of the teams make it to the second round of the competition, they will be required to build a prototype of their design.
Grade 11s built bird feeders using recyclable materials and made suet balls for the birds. These have been placed around the school to encourage the bird life, especially in the winter months, when food can be scarce. The Grade 11s also attended the Entomologist talk.
The Matrics created a pollinator garden at our Sports Campus (OSC). They raised money to purchase plants for their garden. A special mention goes to Giorgio Pesto, who took it upon himself to drive this initiative and purchased the plants, as well as secured a donation of plants and compost for the garden. Even with the light rain, the Matrics enthusiastically got stuck into creating a beautiful garden, which will encourage all the pollinator insects and birds.
What a wonderful Earth Day which presented invaluable learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Enormous thanks to all our students for their contributions and enthusiasm!