Trinity Lutheran College has been recognised as one of the top 40 most innovative schools in Australia by ‘the Educator’ magazine, in the company of Knox Grammar School and Pulteney Grammar School, a great achievement for a rural school and their Earth Care 360 project.
The Earth Care 360 project started as part of the ‘Sharing the Planet’ unit of inquiry. The students were concerned about the health of the local Murray River. In their inquiry they discovered many threats to the health of the river from water availability to pollution through to the carp, an introduced freshwater fish.
By engaging with local community groups students discovered what is being done and what can be done to make the Murray as healthy as possible. As Mildura citizens who love the river they decided to take action to teach people both in Mildura, Australia and the world what they can do to help the river.
Students coded an app ‘Catch a Carp’ to teach people about bag limits though a fun game – found on iTunes. They then created educational material to engage Australia and the world. Marrying state of the art technology with the ancient Mallee landscape in a collaborative project, using virtual reality to help tell the story of Kings Billabong. Students used a 360 camera to record interactive 3D footage of 6 regions in the Murray.
They then made contact with 8 community groups and recorded a representative from each group, discussing details about the problems the river faces and how these can be resolved. These videos were then embedded in the 360 videos and can be watched within the 360 videos, making the whole project interactive.
Now, with VR glasses, people around the world can immerse themselves in the Australian bush, without leaving their home.
This exciting project would not be possible without the amazing help and support from Mallee Catchment Management Authority, Parks Victoria, Lower Murray Water, OzFish Sunraysia, La Trobe University, Sunraysia Steam Preservation Society and Citizen Scientists. This has also meant that the project has had a big impact on the Sunraysia community, who we would like to give great thanks to.