As featured in Timber and Forestry E News
More than 360 students from across Australia logged into online sessions
NATIONAL Agriculture Day on November 19 was a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of agriculture including forestry, and the immense opportunities available for Australia’s young people to engage in the wide variety of careers on offer.
This year, ForestLearning again partnered with a number of forestry and education organisations including Timber Queensland, Responsible Wood, Vic Forests and OneFortyOne Plantations, the Primary Industries Education Foundation (PIEF) and the AgForce School to Industry Partnership Program, to offer primary schools a range of forestry education virtual and face to-face incursions during National Ag Day Week.
ForestLearning and PIEFA’s virtual forester program brought two foresters, Kent Bennett, tactical planning forester with Vic Forests and Taylah Martin, forester with OneFortyOne, streaming live into Australian classrooms via Google Meet.
The two sessions November 15 and 16 covered a range of topics including the questions where does wood come from, what are the uses of wood, and why is it important that wood is grown sustainably.
More than 360 primary students from nine primary schools across five states and territories logged into the online sessions, with the recordings of both sessions soon to be hosted on the ForestLearning website Forester Time library for schools to access on demand around their timetables.
Students asked many questions and showed their interest and enthusiasm for learning more about sustainable forestry and renewable wood products.
Last Friday 180 grade 3-7 primary students from Calvary Christian College enjoyed the first face to-face ForestLearning supported forestry incursion since Covid-19 restrictions began with Jason Ross of Responsible Wood and Sarah Porter Dix of Timber Queensland.
The event was organised by AgForce SIPP and saw class groups of students rotating through a wide variety of primary industry education stations including the sustainable forestry Ag Venture.
Many students were surprised to learn that foresters are like farmers and tend and harvest tree plantations just like farmers do with their crops.
A table display full of different wood products including toilet paper, structural timber, paper, plastic alternative wooden cutlery, and viscose clothing, also surprised students by showcasing the diverse range of everyday products students use and love in their school, homes and find in the supermarket made from renewable wood from sustainably-managed forests.
Students also learned about working in the forest, sustainable forest management, how wood is a renewable and climate-positive resource, and importantly, how to identify Australia’s two certification schemes – Responsible Wood (PEFC) and FSC.
“We were very encouraged to hear the foundational knowledge that the students already had about trees and the carbon cycle, and it was fantastic to see the enthusiasm the next generation has for learning, engaging in sustainable practices, and potentially working on the land,” Sarah Porter Dix said.
The ForestLearning National Ag Day events build on the new “George the Farmer” forestry teaching resources, videos, Forestry VR and other virtual classroom activities conducted through the year and developed for primary schools.
ForestLearning is an initiative of Forest and Wood Products Australia to provide Australian teachers with curriculum aligned teaching resources from F-12.
ForestLearning also coordinates the ForestLearning Forest Industry Education Champions to equip and prepare industry volunteers for school presentations such as these.
For more information or to get involved in 2022 contact Beth Welden, program manager ForestLearning at firstname.lastname@example.org.