We are celebrating Australia Zoo's Wildest Schools! We are shining the spotlight on some of the outstanding contributions to environmental conservation being actioned in our school communities. If you're keen to get your school involved, contact a member of our Education Team today: firstname.lastname@example.org
This edition we present the conservation work of Canterbury College. On conclusion of the 17 week project they really have made difference to conservation, and inspired those around them to do the same. This is a in itself is a success.
Canterbury College launched its innovation initiative in 2010, as part of their Pastoral Care program. It initiated a group of Year 9 students to come together around a central passion - conservation, and facilitated by their teacher Mr James Jenkins, they created their own Answer the Call program, an Australia Zoo conservation project.
Answer the Call asks everyone to recycle broken or unwanted mobile phones to help save Mountain Gorillas. How does this help? Well, mobile phones contain a mineral called coltan, found in large deposits under the central African jungles, the home of the Mountain Gorilla. Whilst poaching and disease has left its heavy mark on the gorilla population, it is the drive behind coltan mining causing large scale habitat loss. By reusing mobile phones, we are reducing the demand for coltan.
Gorilla, Going, Gone or 3G (a clever reminder of the phone network), was the Canterbury College spin on this project, as they took it to their high school counterparts and beyond. What made this project unique was the ownership the students took in getting the word for awareness and action out there. They established a company structure, mission statement and researched the most effective methods to get their message to the community. Collection boxes, assembly and newsletters announcements, a website and a trade fair selling Australia Zoo Wildlife Warrior wristbands, saw the word spread. Together one class of grade 9's collected 120 mobile phones!
Canterbury College visited Australia Zoo to hand over their efforts, and we have since learned that the success of their project, both in the conservation and educational areas, has inspired a 2011 campaign in a fresh group of Grade 9's. We look forward to hearing about this venture as it unfolds!