April 2018 I teamed up with Greening Australia to design and deliver the Cumberland Stepping Stones School Workshops. A series of 10 incursions with flexible delivery ‘Avianating’ over 360 students, from Kindergarten to High School in western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, from Fairfield to the Megalong Valley
A series of targeted in-class presentations were followed by a survey, with photos used to create a DL species list of each school. The primary purpose was to connect the students the birds of their school grounds with the take-home component of a photo guide.
At Cambridge Park Public School (above) Students had studied the Lorax which was linked to the loss of Emus and Cumberland Plain Woodland at the nearby ADI site in a verbal presentation (above).
AudioVisual presentations were prepared for St Marys, Bidwill, and Lalor Park Public Schools.
“A great day of learning. Mark is a gifted Environmentalist and Teacher. Seeing a raptor diving for a hunt was the highlight of our day”.
Prue Thompson, Cambridge Park Public School
“This is the bestest day ever”. Max, St Marys Public School (K1)
“I have found 2 Masked Lapwings”. Joshua, St Marys Public School (Y1) (4 weeks after the visit)
“Amazing. Engaging for all students. Great knowledge of local area. Good link to curriculum areas that are otherwise hard to cover in an engaging manner”. Alice Gravina, Bidwill Public School
Mount Riverview Public School (x5 classes, 164 students) A verbal presentation on Lyrebirds/Bowerbirds, and the intelligence of using complex calls/bowers to attract females and pass on their genes.
“It was great to compare with Blacktown/Penrith and realise Mt Riv is unique. 1/3 of them wanted to take their brochure into the playground and tick off more birds”. Ms Stockton Yr4
“Wonderful to see how engaged some of the children were, particularly those who are not necessarily so excited by school”. Cate Paterson, Katoomba Public School
“The visit was wonderful and engaging for all students. The visuals of birds and making connection with audio sounds was useful. Very knowledgable, excitement of interest and enthusiasm was good”. Stephanie Scott, Megalong Public School
Londonderry Public School (Year 2, 22 students) located in the Richmond Woodlands Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) the presentation focused on Honeyeater and Parrot species from Noisy Miners and Rainbow Lorikeets in the school grounds, through to the rare Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot, the KBAs flagship species.
“Mark was engaging and passionate about birds. The girls and boys were very interested and particularly enjoyed the walk around”. Kelly Garlick, Londonderry Public School
“Mark was knowledgable. Eye opening. Well delivered! “. Eric Wu, Fairfield High School