Bright Sparks 2017
What is Bright Sparks?
The 2017 Bright Sparks: Igniting Learning and Teaching across Secondary and Tertiary Education is one of Macquarie Law School’s inspiring projects. Bright Sparks is about capturing the voices of young people regarding positive solutions for local climate change.
This project was developed by Macquarie Law School (MLS) Centre for Environmental Law (CEL), the Future Students team and a multi-disciplinary team of experts across Macquarie University (MQ). The project was led by Dr Kirsty Davies from Macquarie Law School and Andrew Hewett from Future Students.
One of the purposes of this project was to promote a transformative learning experience, while focusing on empowering young people and listening to their views about future pathways. It also involved adding value to the NSW High School curriculum, while also giving students the opportunity to be directly connected with university as a welcoming place of learning.
In collaboration with Ku-ring-gai Council and with the support of MQ academic experts, students were able to explore ways in which they can become engaged in positive solutions and raise awareness on the local impacts of climate change. Students were involved in research regarding future legal, governance and policy change to suggest responses to the challenges of climate change within their local government area.
Bright Sparks Highlights
The Five Schools
The five schools that participated in this project are Brigidine College, Chatswood High School, Carlingford High School, Masada College and Normanhurst Boys High School. They each had their own set of topics to channel their research and develop their case. Each school’s themes were aligned with the sustainable development goals (SDG) of their choice and they developed ideas on how they wanted their local environment to look like by 2030.
The students presented their findings at Macquarie Theatre to family, friends, NSW Minister for Education and Macquarie University on 22 November 2017.
Green and public spaces - Brigidine College students focused on sustainable communities and on how to connect the urban community of St Ives. They thought about green space available to people that is sustainable (e.g solar lights) rather than just an open field space such as an oval. (SDG* goal 11 - sustainable cities and communities).
Chatswood High School
Heatwave preparedness at Chatswood High School – Students developed a new design to areas of the school affected by heatwaves. They looked at more stable and green buildings as an alternative. Their focus was on green infrastructure, social well-being,policy and law reform. (SDG* goal 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and goal 13 climate action).
Carlingford High School
Renewable energy at schools - Carlingford High School students developed an information pack that could be used to inform other schools on how to access and implement the use of solar panels within their school (SDG* goal 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy).
Transport and technology – Masada College students developed a new design for public transports and proposed new ideas for battery car stations. They promoted the need to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and the urgent need to decrease the carbon footprint in transport (SDG* goal 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).
Normanhurst Boys High School
Sustainable housing- Students focused their projects on sustainable housing and architecture, taking into consideration the increasing population in Sydney. They highlighted the need for our communities to be sustainable and to reduce our carbon footprint. (SDG* goal 11 sustainable cities and communities).
Ku-ring-gai Council and academic staff across Macquarie University provided support to students to help them develop these ideas and guide them on future legal and policy change.
Still to come are mini-events held at the schools so keep an eye out for our latest updates and more announcements!
*SDG – Sustainable Development Goals. – In 2015, countries adopted 17 goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved by 2030. For more information, please see the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Developmental Goals.
If you have any questions about this project, please contact:
- Ana Carolina Carneiro – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Kirsten Davies – email@example.com