Around 1,450 students at 72 schools across Australia will tackle a wide range of environmental topics, including biodiversity, waste reduction, alternate energy sources such as biofuels, and how the industry is addressing carbon emissions.
Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said the partnership will inspire future environmental leaders as students take on the role of teachers.
“We’re continually exploring new and innovative initiatives as part of our sustainability journey and we’re proud to be equipping school students with the knowledge and confidence to explore the environment and share their work with their peers,” Ms Mather said.
“We’re pleased to be sharing with students some of the projects we’re currently working on around Sydney Airport’s diverse wetlands, recycling initiatives and progress in reducing carbon emissions.”
Qantas Head of Environment Alan Milne said the airline is always looking for ways to engage with the community about environmental issues, and hopes school students are able to learn from the airline.
“We recognise aviation is a significant contributor to carbon emissions and at Qantas we are absolutely committed to reducing our environmental impact,” Mr Milne said.
“We are really proud to be setting the example in the aviation industry with initiatives such as our Fly Carbon Neutral carbon offset program, inflight recycling initiatives and leading fuel efficiency processes.
“By working with Kids Teaching Kids we hope to share the knowledge our team has developed to educate and engage with young people on environmental issues and help them see opportunities to create a more sustainable future for everyone.”
Founder and Managing Director of Kids Teaching Kids Arron Wood said the partnership plays an important role in delivering environmental education in Australian schools.
“Years of independent research show time and cost are the two key reasons teachers aren’t able to get their students involved in environmental education,” Mr Wood said.
“Through the support provided by Sydney Airport and Qantas, we’ve been able to eliminate both of those barriers.”
Wahroonga Prep School is one school involved in the 2016 program and will be studying the river systems across the region, including Botany Bay.
“The Kids Teaching Kids Program enhances the environmental studies we undertake in class, and involves our students in authentic, real-world learning,” Wahroonga Prep School teacher Rose Raward said.
“They gain presentation skills, problem solving ability and enhance how they work together as a team. For young people to be able to teach each other, it really is one of the highest forms of learning”.
Sydney Airport will directly support over 800 students at 19 Sydney and regional NSW schools, while Qantas will support an additional 53 schools and 650 students outside of NSW.
Events will be held throughout the remainder of the school year including Kids Teaching Kids Week from 5 to 9 September.
More than 110,000 students and teachers have participated in the Kids Teaching Kids program over the past 16 years.