Arcadia pupils' chance of a lifetime

Tech environment: Apple has sponsored Arcadia Public School's year 5 and 6 pupils to document the World Parks Congress. About 5500 people will attend including (from left) Nathan, Nicola, Corey and Tahlia. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Tech environment: Apple has sponsored Arcadia Public School's year 5 and 6 pupils to document the World Parks Congress. About 5500 people will attend including (from left) Nathan, Nicola, Corey and Tahlia. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Arcadia Public School pupils have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to document environmental policy as it is made.

Pupils in year 5 and 6 were selected to make a multi-touch textbook — a book of interactive elements which functions like an app — with Apple technology and education expert Stephen Heppell at the International Conservation Union's World Parks Congress at Sydney Olympic Park today.

The event brings environmental scientists, park rangers and foreign ministers from around the world together to discuss and create original approaches to conservation of protected areas.

The students will interview many of them for the project, which will be stored in the congress archives for future generations to reflect on.

"It's really exciting because every 10 years only four schools get to go," said Nathan, in year 6.

"This is a small school and this is such a big opportunity for us."

Principal Sharon O'Brien said the congress invitation followed a bushland iMovie project with instructors from the Department of Education and Communities' Field of Mars environmental education centre.

"They produced short films that David Attenborough would have been proud of," she said.

"Taking responsibility for the environment and for our own actions is a key focus of our school.

"We have a lot of sustainability and garden projects — the children plant and cultivate vegetables and sell them to their parents and cook with what they grow."

Teacher Paul Sheppard said the past 12 months had prepared students for the project.

"They have studied biodiversity, climate change, and then went on to create their own documentary as part of their history, science and technology units," he said.

"We combine technology with literacy all the way down to down to kindergarten where we see [pupils] creating movies."

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