Planning to create planners

THE focus of new high school lesson plans is to create new future planners, engineers and artitects.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes has announced the new high school lesson plans, which are aimed at encouraging students to get involved in shaping the future of their communities, last week.

Mr Stokes said the geography lesson plans on urban and regional planning will be made available next year for students in years seven and eight.

The lessons will help students, teachers and parents better understand the NSW planning system.

"We want to spark the interest of potential future planners, urban designers, environmental scientists, engineers, demographers and architects, and engage them in planning for their communities and their state," Mr Stokes said.

"The lessons will encourage young people to be aware of and understand the natural and built environments in which they live, and give them the knowledge and skills to play an active and positive role in their communities both now and in the future.

"I encourage schools to get involved and make use of the fantastic resources that will be available next year."

The plans were designed through a partnership between the Department of Planning and Environment and the Geography Teachers Association of NSW.

Geography Teachers Association of NSW Susan Caldis said the lessons will explore issues such as neighbourhood design, open space, healthy built environments and understanding and balancing environmental, economic and social issues.

"It is very exciting that these lesson plans will come to life," Ms Caldis said.

"The lessons have been designed to embrace an inquiry-based learning approach where students ask questions about real or hypothetical planning challenges and investigate these questions through fieldwork."

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