To conclude their studies about the importance of bees in an ecosystem and the fragility of their environment, our Year 9 students were given the opportunity to harvest honey contained in frames from a beehive. Students could see how the bees had built combs on the frames and uncapped the wax with hot knives to gain access to the honey. The honeycombs were then placed in a honey spinner where centrifugal force was created to release the honey from the waxy honeycombs. After draining through a sieve to remove any wax, the golden honey was poured into containers. What a delicious way to learn about ecosystems.
To conclude their “Week of Taste” experiences, the Year 3/4 students hosted The Place of Wonder / REAL Pizza and Pasta owner, Kylie Treble, and were able to experience a ‘real’ connection with food. Surprisingly Kylie explained that the most important tool in a chef’s kitchen was a spoon and that it was very important to taste and experiment with different food types to appreciate flavor. Kylie wanted students to understand the value of food by explaining that the purple cabbage had needed a year’s worth of rain, sun and nutrients to grow and it was important to appreciate this input and nutritional value. Students learnt that pairing different ingredients together could dramatically change the taste of food and that pairing can be way to encourage people to try different foods. Kylie challenged students to be open minded about taste options and prepared different cabbage combinations- raw cabbage, cabbage coleslaw, cabbage and bacon and cabbage with apple and these were sampled and assessed by students. Groups then had to discuss the flavors and choose words to describe their preferred dish. The lesson was concluded with an interesting Q & A session with students asking about Kylie’s preferred meals, vegies, career path and the purpose and intent behind her business ventures with the goal to educate and help people appreciate real food. A great lesson, a cabbage challenge!!!
The Year 11/12 VCAL Literacy - English students are studying current events and recently watched an ABC ‘Back Roads’ documentary (Series 7 episode 5) about Eugowra in the central west of NSW. The story, ‘What does a farmer look like?’, is an introduction to breaking down stereotypes, showing new business prospects and diversity in agriculture. Students are also researching opportunities and trends as a study of current social issues that interest them and their topics will cover History, Politics and Science due to interconnections of knowledge, understanding and relevance in their lives…watch this space.
Our clever Year 3/4 teachers and students combined their health studies investigating Healthy Eating with literacy, science and maths tasks. Students were challenged to design packaging for a healthy product using a net. The 3D shape created had to safely protect their product, engage customers with their design and advertising then display the nutritional content and ingredients used in their healthy treat. What a clever way to reinforce this healthy message.
Our Year 7/8 CCC students visited farms to help them prepare for hosting calves and to observe sustainable farming practices in action. At Matt and Renee Whitehead’s farm Renee outlined the importance of colostrum and students learnt how Whiteheads monitored calf intake with separate head stalls in one calf shed and could compare this with calves reared on their automated calf feeder and the calves reared at the Doolan farm. Sam and Belinda Doolan explained that all of the energy produced by solar panels was used in the business and that this system was to be extended to generate even more energy. Sam explained that the system produced between 50-220kw power per hour depending on the sunlight and time of year. He described the role of the effluent pond with solids utilized in their compost mix while water was used on paddocks with excess water stored in a large dam and used through the irrigation system. Students also saw examples of remote, infrared cameras and automated lead feed for calving cows in the calving barn, GPS on the tractors and some very familiar faces. Belinda shared ice creams with the students when they recounted facts learnt as part of their exit pass. Thanks Matt, Renee, Sam and Belinda.
Our Year 5/6 students have learnt that micro-organisms affect everyone. Some are helpful, whilst others are harmful. Students learnt that decomposing moulds decay rotting plant and animal matter returning important nutrients back into the soil. The students conducted some experiments in the classroom on food spoilage micro-organisms such as mould that ruined stored food including home made and store bought bread, a banana, peaches and raspberries. Surprisingly, the fast food hamburger bun has not decomposed at all – NOT!!!
As they investigate how Healthy Eating leads to Healthy Bones, our Year 3/4 students learnt that our bones provide a framework for our bodies and keep our organs safe. Working in groups, students were challenged to work out what goes where with a life size bone puzzle and then determined the placement of organs including stomach, bowel, brain, lungs and heart. Now the 3/4 class has a new mascot, welcome Skelly!
Today the Year 7/8 CCC class hosted ex Timboon P-12 students and local dairyfarmers, Sam and Peter Doolan, prior to the group’s field trip to Doolan Farms to learn about sustainability and the use of technology. Sam and Peter described the importance of healthy soil in their business, the relevancy of pulling carbon back into the soil and the role that it played in growing healthy plants. They outlined the use of a carbon calculator that indicated that methane produced by cows was the biggest producer of gas in their system but described that trials in place on biochar and seaweed were looking promising. Peter described various sources of energy available in farming systems such as biodigesters, solar, wind, battery, hydrogen and electricity and how these energy sources were constantly evolving. The technology in use on farm was described and included GPS on tractors for sowing and spreading fertilizer, a variable speed drive on the vacuum pump, and an Arcoflex monitoring system that allowed Sam and Peter to monitor pumps, gauges and levels in an electronic farm management system. Students learnt about their land management scheme that included mole and collection drains to eliminate run off and nutrient loss, a dam to drought proof the property, multi crop species to feed the cows and soil, trees and shelter belts to improve biodiversity and water management using a three pond system. The CCC class was very fortunate to have this expertise shared in our classroom, thanks Sam and Peter.
This term the year 5/6 classes have been investigating ‘Marvelous micro-organisms’. They have been discussing what they know about the bread making process and the yeast micro-organism. Students have investigated yeast and the best temperature for it to be active and produce gas. On Friday the teachers made 2 loaves of bread. One without yeast and one with yeast. Throughout the day the students observed the changes in the dough, finishing with a warm bread taste test at the end.
Continuing their investigation into Healthy Eating and Healthy Food our Year 3/4 students were challenged to create some Healthy Faces Sandwiches. Students had a choice of strasberg meat, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrot, grated cheese, grapes, lettuce, banana, peanut butter and cheese spread to craft their edible creations. Can you see a few self portraits in there as well - don’t they look ScrumptiousDoodle!