Junior geographers collaborate on climate Junior geographers collaborate on climate

The new St Rita’s College Trinity Centre was abuzz with discussion about Australia’s drought crisis recently as Year 7 Geography and Social Science classes joined forces. 

The girls worked in cross-class groups to investigate the causes of water shortages facing Stanthorpe, under St Rita's Head of Social Science Mr Thomas Harvey and teacher Mrs Georgia Dogger.

They explored a range of climate graphs, tables, topographic and climate maps, along with satellite imagery.

Mr Thomas Harvey said the new precinct provided the perfect educational environment for cross-class teaching and learning, with spaces that shift from the traditional ‘one to many’ methodology toward a more contemporary environment.

“As educators we are working to actively promote and apply 21st century learning skills of collaboration, critical and creative thinking, communication, flexibility and media literacy,” Mr Harvey said.

Capitalising on one another’s knowledge, skills and abilities, students applied knowledge from lessons on how wind topography influence rainfall patterns in Australia.

“We were so impressed by the collaborative teaching and learning that took place as the Year 7 students took on the role of peer teachers, explaining the role of south-easterly trade winds and rain-shadows in determining rainfall patterns,” Mr Harvey said.

“It is encouraging to see students working as collaborative learning partners in examining a diverse range of data sources to understand global problems and to develop solutions to these issues.”

The Year 7 ‘climate scientists’ considered the collaborative cross-class environment an engaging, positive one and said they would like more opportunities to work together in this way throughout the year.