Over the last few months; the team at Millennium Kids consisting of Youth Board members, staff, education providers and volunteers have worked collaboratively to pull together a fun, accessible and portable online offering that is sure to inspire any student in upper primary or middle school.
It’s been an amazingly fun and supportive environment which is evident in the modules on offer. The development of the Green Lab Challenge has allowed the Youth Board and us older Millennium Kids too, the opportunity to showcase Millennium Kids passion for the environment in new way.
We were so excited to launch Green Lab Challenge in the time of COVID social distancing restrictions , but how? Usually our events are filled with dancing, music and lots of people. This time it was going to be a little different. We planned in the same way we always do, together. Instead of meeting face to face we moved to Webex meetings. We worked to make sure that everyone could be involved in a way that suited them whether they were dialling into the launch or attending in person.
The launch was held at The Platform in Perth. As attendees entered they visited a sample of workshops on offer in the online hub. Youth Board members Patrick showcased his amazing art work and collection of feathers as part of his ‘Birds in my Backyard’ project and Aelwen shared ‘Hidden Gems’ an exploration into urban green spaces in Victoria Park. Everyone decorated their rooms for maximum fun, all whilst ensuring social distancing and hygiene measures were followed. Aelwen even made a game by marking the floor with tape to encourage our guests to jump, hop and spin past images of green spaces in Vic Park.
There were also Citizen scientist workshops from MK mentors,too. Wayne showed us how to spot birds in ‘Bird Survey 101’, Cathy showed us how to make bee hotels through her ‘Nature’s Hotel’, Jos, from DBCA, gave us a tour around bushland with her ‘My Patch Virtual Tour’ and I showed how to map tree canopy to make a case to plant trees to keep your city cool with ‘Urban Canopy’.
Bella B, another Youth Board member, came online and opened the event from her home office in the South West. She started with an acknowledgement to country and Professor Lyn Beazley, our Green Lab Patron officially launched Green Lab Challenge. We had students from Rostrata Primary School dial in to ask Wayne, our MK Citizen Science Coordinator, how to progress their citizen science project.
We were excited to have in attendance representatives from a wide range of institutions including Asha Stabback,Curtin University, who toured Prof David Gibson’s floating head through the space through a device utilising the Cisco Webex Teams platform. We were also joined by Howard Flinders, Department of Education, Amy Warner, City of Melville, Danielle Giles, Scitech, Maree Whiteley, Independent Schools Association and Dr Jane Chambers, Murdoch University.
Green Lab is a Millennium Kids Citizen Science program, funded by the Western Australian Government’s State Natural Resource Management Program and supported by Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Trillion Trees.