Seek7: Empowering Students to Tackle Global Water Challenges

At Santa Maria College, our mission is to educate young Mercy women who act with courage and compassion to enrich our world.

This is why in Seek7, all Year 7 students are taught about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030 and are asked what they can do to help achieve Goal Six: clean water and sanitation for all.

Seek7 is part of the College’s continuum of the Years 5 to 10 emPOWER learning projects. These projects provide opportunities for our students to take a flexible approach to their learning in order to do deep work developing global competencies and essential skills.

Seek7 is a term-long project focused specifically on students’ critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration skills. To really highlight the subject connections between the geography they are learning about in Humanities & Social Sciences and their work on liquids and solvents in Science, students have completed a series of seven challenges ranging from local to global in scale. All reinforced the importance of water and its effective management to sustain life on earth now and into the future.

The Year 7s participated in an excursion to Point Walter with Nearer to Nature, a Water Corporation incursion, a United Nations SDG workshop and had three expert guest speakers: Matt Fossey from the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation, Kirilee King formerly from the Swan River Management Trust and Jen Medbury from Edith Cowan University.

At the end of this term of rich learning, students developed an inquiry question provoked by United Nations SDG Six: clean water and sanitation. They researched and developed these into an idea for change, which was displayed at their exhibition afternoon and evening in the Plaza.

The projects presented by the Year 7s were exceptional, displaying a high level of creativity and innovation. Their inquiries delved into critical topics such as water conservation, the protection of WA marine ecosystems, and improving access to clean water, among other pressing issues.

During the afternoon, our Year 6 students had the privilege of attending the showcase alongside staff, providing them with a glimpse of the incredible work they can anticipate when they reach Year 7. Furthermore, in the evening, we extended an invitation to parents, allowing them to explore and appreciate their daughters’ incredible projects.

Pope Francis writes, “Access to safe, drinkable water is a basic and universal human right since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for exercising other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity.”

We are proud of our Year 7 students for using courage and compassion to wrestle with the knotty and important problem of water access. We want our students to be drivers rather than passengers in their learning (and their lives!), and our Year 7s showed that they are up for the challenge.

What A Term! So Many Opportunities – Jennifer Oaten

As I look back on the past nine weeks, I am so grateful for who we are as a community and what we have achieved. Through the dedication of our staff and the enthusiasm of our students, we have established new connections, immersed ourselves in opportunities and worked through challenges.

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