Green Week in 6th Class

Here at St Matthew’s caring for the planet is an integral part of our school. Our aim is to help preserve the beautiful environment we live in by educating the next generation. A few weeks ago our wonderful Green Schools Committee organised Green Week, filled with fun and educational activities to make us aware of the environment around us. The focus was primarily on the marine environment. For Green Week, we learned about plastic and the impact it has on the marine environment. Did you know that a plastic bottle takes 450 years to biodegrade? To take our learning further we tried making our own biodegradable casein plastic out of milk curds, and we discovered to pros and cons of this kind of plastic layer. Usually when casein plastic is produced commercially, it is dipped in formaldehyde which gives it a shiny coating, and an extra protective layer. Our plastic smelled a lot and would biodegrade if it got wet. Therefore it is not the most sustainable product. We also went to see the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. We went on board a boat and explored the living spaces. Onboard, a marine biologist talked about her job and we learned about all the different marine life that lives in Dublin’s waters. She told us about porpoises, whales, dolphins and more extraordinary animals that she has seen. A scientist talked to us about water quality testing, and we used special papers to test the PH of seawater, drinking water and river water. He even showed us a large instrument that can accurately test the water’s salinity, PH and much more.
On Tuesday we went to Sandymount beach with 1st Class to do a beach clean-up. Using the Picker Pals equipment, we collected all kinds of litter. We were surprised about how much litter we found in an hour. We made graphs of our findings, and we discovered that plastic was by far the biggest source of litter on our beaches. For homework we researched a marine creature of our choice, the facts we found out were fascinating! We had to find ten interesting facts about our animal and then present our research to the class. We found out about animals like the fried egg jellyfish, flamingo tongue, vaquita, harp seal, bobtail squid and many more!!! Throughout the week we were learning about the environment and marine life. Every year we strive to renew our Green Flag, although because of the Covid pandemic we haven’t been able to for the last couple of years. This year we finally got our chance and hopefully our hard work will pay off!

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