Seek7: Exploring Clean Water and Sanitation

Seek7, the emPOWER project for our Year 7s, is all about curiosity and questioning. It provides students with opportunities to extend themselves with real-life, hands-on learning.

The theme of Seek7 is sustainability and looks at the importance of caring for our planet and the resources we rely on. Water is one of those resources and is a strong focal point of the project.

This year, Seek7 ran for the duration of Term 2. It commenced with a launch event, followed by a Smoking Ceremony. This reinforced both the life-giving importance of water and the transformative journey that the Year 7s were about to embark on.

The girls’ learning in HASS and Science was mapped to be complementary, with concepts linking throughout the term. So, whilst their classes supported Seek7, they also fulfilled curriculum requirements. Students completed a series of academic challenges across both HASS and Science, for which they collected badges.

The authenticity of the girls’ learning was also enhanced through a variety of special activities, which included an interactive incursion by the Water Corporation, a United Nations sustainable development goals workshop, and an excursion to Point Walter.

The term of learning culminated in a two-day, end-of-term workshop and exhibition, where the girls got to share their ideas with the Santa Maria College Community, as well as parents.

Students collaborated in groups to formulate a ‘how might we’ inquiry question based on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6: clean water and sanitation (SDG6). They created a display where they shared their unique idea to help achieve SDG6. 

The inquiry questions the Year 7s created included:

  1. How might we use the water conservation and recycling techniques used in space to improve water usage on earth?
  2. How might we educate Santa Maria girls on how to pick the most water efficient/sustainable fashion?
  3. How might we create a campaign to raise WA’s awareness on how to fish safely to protect our WA marine ecosystems?
  4. How might we use simple filtration to provide clean drinking water to communities experiencing water poverty?
  5. How might we create a campaign to encourage Australians to help stop pollution in our oceans so the reefs and aquatic ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef can survive for future generations?
  6. How might we create a recipe book/app to inform the College community how much virtual water is used when making meat and provide alternatives to combine with their weekly menu, to reduce their family’s water footprint?
  7. How might we educate Perth about how to help regional areas and farmers suffering drought?
  8. How might we teach people around the world to create simple filtering products to improve access to clean water?

By participating in the Seek7 project, students have developed global competencies. It specifically targets critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, problem-solving, stewardship, and of course, empathy.

It also channels our girls’ strong sense of social justice into pursuits that have a global outreach. Water management and access are global problems that require empathy and creative solutions.

Elizabeth de Byl, HASS Teacher and Seek7 Coordinator, says “A highlight of Seek7 is seeing the students achieve more than they thought they were capable of, both individually and as a group. The project really empowers the girls to understand their world, its challenges, and their unique capacity to shape it.”

Check out the video below, where students Ivanka Millen and Therese Robertson reflect on their Seek7 experience:

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