EYING THE ROBOT: At rear Shylene Turner, (Year 12) with Albert Leju, Ashlea Warnke and at front Stephanie Johnson (all in Year 8) with robot GenZ.
EYING THE ROBOT: At rear Shylene Turner, (Year 12) with Albert Leju, Ashlea Warnke and at front Stephanie Johnson (all in Year 8) with robot GenZ. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Arctic to reality

A GROUP of Lismore High students pondering what to do about the disappearing Arctic sea ice was the impetus for the Lismore Sustainability Festival, held at Lismore High yesterday.

The event was designed to showcase everyday solutions to climate change and sustainability. More than 600 students from as far as Mullumbimby and Casino converged on Lismore for it.

Highlights included GenZ, a remote-controlled robot designed and built by the Green House team from recycled materials.

Another curious bit of tech was the "biodigester", designed to capture methane from household waste and pipe it to the stovetop.

Tree planting was on the menu in a project to link the school's koala habitat to surrounding areas.

The event was part of National Science Week, designed to inspire young people to get involved in science, and this year it received a National Science Week grant of $3200.

Rous Water's interactive water catchment model was another hit. Students poured water into the model and watched it run from the mountains to the ocean, picking up pollutants along the way.

Anton Nguyen from Lismore City Council said he was impressed by how much knowledge the students absorbed.

"I've had parents come up to me afterwards and say 'I've got in trouble with the kids after putting on the dishwasher when it was half full'," he chuckled.

Event co-ordinator and science teacher Jimmy McInerney said the experience for was "head and shoulders above sitting in the classroom".

"These are practical things that are using science and technology in existence already. The idea of the day is to show them there are things they can do; they just shouldn't give up," Mr McIn-erney said.

"The modern generation likes things to be real and instant and concrete; compared to sitting in the classroom they've probably covered the syllabus in one day."



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