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Fighting Extinction School Stories
There are hundreds of Fighting Extinction Schools around Victoria. Here are some of their inspiring stories. Share your story
The Patch Primary School
Students joined the Fighting Extinctions Program to take actions that improve awareness and habitat for the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum. When students found a colony of sugar gliders living on the school property, this became the focus for investigating the needs and behaviours of these animals. As students explored this, they became aware of the critical status of the Leadbeater’s Possum. By participating in a number of Web Conferences run by Zoos Victoria, the students gained a greater understanding of how they could make a difference. Students have produced a range of posters to raise awareness of the link between forestry activities for papermaking and habitat destruction, and are promoting “Wipe for Wildlife”. The Patch Primary School now uses only recycled toilet paper and paper towel in all amenities, while encouraging others to do the same.
Moonee Ponds West Primary School
Grade 4 students, Isabelle and Sophia Moonee Ponds West Primary School ran a lemonade stall after engaging in a sustainability and recycling focus in class. The girls raised an incredible $302 for the Seal the Loop campaign and presented their efforts at their assembly to inspire their school community and raise awareness about marine debris and its impact on wildlife.
Middle Park Primary School
Middle Park Primary School students have been conducting beach clean ups at their local beach for the past few years, originally as part of Seal the Loop Action day. We now collect marine debris and contribute our data to the nationwide Tangaroa Blue database. As part of our Grade 4 inquiry, we looked at innovative ways to reduce and manage marine plastics as well as focusing on the impact of introduced species such as cats, foxes and camels on our native wildlife and habitats to discover what we can do to help reduce these threats.
Bullarto Primary School
Following our zoo visit Bullarto Primary School students undertook an investigation process and decided they would like to research and expose three local species to the broader community, that are threatened in our schools very own backyard. As our school is nestled in the Wombat State Forest the children explored local animals after being inspired by the ‘Love Your Locals’ initiative run by Zoos Victoria Fighting Extinction Program. The children introduced our community to The Greater Glider, Brush Tailed Phascogale and the Powerful Owl. Our school is committed to continue the exposure of these three animals to help prevent their extinction in the future.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Bentleigh West
OLSH Bentleigh created Fighting Extinction (FE) species puppets that they had created as part of the STEM conference at Melbourne Zoo, which they later highlighted at the FE schools showcase day. Some of their puppets included a Tassie Devil (with a very cute top hat), Leadbeater’s possum, Southern Bent Wing Bat and a Plain’s Wanderer. As people visited their table, students discussed their designs in detail, shared the stories behind their FE species and encouraged visitors to sign a banner titled “You’re the Voice” – encouraging everyone to raise awareness and spread the love for our endangered local species. By the end of the day, this banner was full of signatures! Amazing work Bentleigh West!
St. Peter’s Sunshine South West
We have had another fabulous Inquiry this year, it is becoming a rite of passage for our seniors now and students cannot wait to get to 5/6 to have a Zoos Victoria experience and build on the tradition. This year we aimed to raise awareness about Don’t Palm Us Off at our annual fete using information, creativity and palm oil free recipes! We also host a community bus tour each year, the purpose of which is to build relationships and engage with our new migrant families in some aspects of their kids' learning. We decided on Werribee Zoo this year as many have not been, and we were able to talk to parents about how the zoo links to the learning we are doing at school through our inquiries. Cannot wait for next year!
Oakleigh Primary School
Following their excursion to Melbourne Zoo, Grade 4 students at Oakleigh Primary School integrated their learning back at school throughout the semester. The students set their minds on a special threatened species project focused around our locally endangered species. Through research and reflection, they produced a series of radio podcasts on five of the Zoo’s priority species and uploaded their thoughts and learnings on their radio station. Listen now
Bungaree Primary School
Bungaree students have been investigating one of their local species, the Growling Grass Frog (GGF). Every student in the school researched and developed an animal fact card about the GGF. They learned about information texts using the frog’s life cycle, created felted frogs in art, decorated frog cupcakes, made bookmarks about the frog to share and collected five-cent pieces in a “Fiver for a Frog”. They even went frogging in a local dam (founding tadpoles, frogspawn and multiple macroinvertebrates), listened to frog calls, and completed mindfulness colouring with a frogging theme, created a (super) video about the GGF and showed their work to friends and family, as well as the Fighting Extinction Showcase at Melbourne Zoo. “We are still going strong - with works underway to create a Growling Grass Frog mural around our Art Room! Thank you to the Zoo for helping enable this wonderful project and the inspiration to love one of our locals."
Beeac Primary School
Beeac Primary School have done an amazing job tracking all brolga sightings in their local region, including engaging the local community about recording the sightings through citizen science by creating a text line to report in any sightings from surrounding areas. Students also created a large map displaying all the sightings in local areas and a brolga display made from natural resources placed by roadways and in town to raise awareness. All students have partaken in reading stories and brolga dancing to celebrate these gorgeous local bird species - a twist on the love Your Locals campaign.
Ave Maria Secondary College
Year 7 students from Ave Maria SC wrote storybooks, produced slogans and gave class presentations on the Regent Honeyeater, Brush-tail Rock Wallaby and the Eastern Barred Bandicoot (EBB), E.g. of a slogan - “There ain’t no substitute for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot”. They raised funds to adopt an EBB as part of the Zoo’s Common Cents Challenge and the girls thought it would be a great idea for future Yr. 7’s to visit the animal every year. They raised funds through basketball at school- hoops for Bandicoots & via family members collecting $100 at the time (with further donations still coming in).
St Brigid’s Parish School
Grade 6 student leaders are helping save endangered gorillas by being a powerful voice within their community. The students told the story of They’re Calling On You at their school assembly, wrote articles in the newsletter and created posters to communicate the project, which they posted in a fabulous and intricately decorated gorilla rainforest room. They hosted their peers through an interactive experience that focused on story-telling and discussion. They even created a mobile phone model to highlight the coltan within. With the whole school primed to support the Community Project, the student leaders ran a phone drive and collected over 100 old mobile phones to give to Zoos Victoria with the money raised going to supporting the conservation work of the Gorilla Doctors.
In an eight-week unit dedicated to learning about animal conservation, Year 9 students were challenged to come up with creative ways to engage others in the plight of 21 threatened species. Students worked in teams to develop practical ideas for their chosen species. They wrote letters to politicians, produced books, designed Fighting Extinction jackets and modified board games like Monopoly. These projects helped students learn with purpose and educated others about how they can also "Love Your Locals."
Every year, Woodleigh students hold a one-hour Colour Run on their oval and each student collects sponsorship per lap run. Students get a spray of coloured Holi powder after running each lap too – very motivating. Ten students recently visited Melbourne Zoo to gift a cheque of $3,532.30! They also got to spend some time with the Sumatran Orang-utans and their keepers. As a long-term Fighting Extinction School, Woodleigh students have raised over $10,000 for Orang-utans.
After visiting Melbourne Zoo as part of the Catholic Education Melbourne Activating Conservation Science partnership, Year 6 students decided to take action to support gorilla conservation. Each student was assigned another class within the school to do a presentation about the They're Calling On You project and start the school’s mobile phone recycling collection drive. The money generated from recycling mobile phones with Zoos Victoria supported the Gorilla Doctors work in Africa.
Macclesfield Primary School
One community that is right behind the conservation efforts of a local species is that of Macclesfield Primary School. For over 20 years, this school has been involved in numerous conservation projects to help save the Helmeted Honeyeater. Recently, students undertook projects that involved writing and performing a fabulous song titled Save the Helmeted Honeyeater, which they also performed at the Emerald for Sustainability Festival.
St. Peter’s Primary School, South West Sunshine
After visiting Melbourne Zoo, Year 5 and 6 students decided to help endangered species. They collected old mobile phones for recycling as part of the They're Calling On You project, did a presentation at school assembly about the threats faced by Sumatran Orang-utans and held a mini-fete raising over $800 to support locally endangered species. They also participated in a Seal the Loop action Day, cleaning up the Kororoit River behind their school.