Sunday, February 25, 2024

Conservation classroom of the year

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Room 26 received a fully catered picnic lunch as part of their prize for winning Conservation Classroom of the Year. Photo supplied

An east Auckland primary class has won gold in a conservation competition.

After hearing about the plight of the blue penguins on Waiheke Island, as there is concern that the species could be made homeless by a marina development, Owairoa Primary School teacher Cass Sealy and the students in Room 26 wanted to work out how they could help blue penguins in the future”.

Room 26 started and completed a range of projects in their quest, including 3D models of different penguin species, designing new penguin nests with some having in-built televisions and heaters, and ‘catio’ designs for people to use to keep their cats away from penguins.

The students then moved on to educating younger students at school by designing colourful and educational board games and cards with a penguin theme.

In addition to this, Room 26 prepared posters and presentations to educate and inform people about the different endangered penguin species in NZ, Owairoa reported in its latest newsletter.

Sealy decided to enter the More FM and Kiwi Conservation Club ‘Conservation Classroom of the Year’ competition to showcase Room 26’s penguin work.

The More FM crew arrived at the school to announce that Room 26 had been crowned the winners.

For their prize, Room 26 have received a fully-catered picnic lunch, a certificate and membership to the Kiwi Conservation Club, as well as $1000 to put towards an Owairoa Adventure Rangers conservation project.

“When they won, the first thing they said was ‘Yay now we can help the penguins even more!'” Sealy says. “It was a very special reaction from such a young bunch of conservationists.”

Additionally Room 26 and fellow class NB3, who are running an Adventure Rangers Whale inquiry, entered their research and conservation ideas to Auckland Zoo’s school competition.

With both classes clinching wins, NB3 is getting an all-expense paid trip to the Zoo and Room 26 is getting a visit from a Zoo conservation educator.

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