Project Zero, Minaret College, Officer – Case Study

WINNER – Student-Led Project Award

No project is too small as long as it has the right attitude

The Student-Led Project Award is part of the annual VicSRC Student Voice Awards which recognises and celebrates best practice initiatives, schools and people in student voice. This award recognises a group of students that have implemented a project in their school or community with the intention of a clear positive change or outcome. The three finalists each receive a cash prize for their school.

The Student-Led Project Award is sponsored by the Asia Education Foundation.

Project Summary

Clean Up Week is a student-led initiative that took place in June 2019, bringing Minaret College Officer, a step closer to Project Zero, a zero-waste project striving for a clean and sustainable environment. Clean Up Week, and Project Zero, were designed by the student body and led by the school captains.

Project Zero Aims

  • To develop a long-term pro-environment campus culture which students feel proud of.
  • To combat and reduce landfill waste and environmental damage done by the school and community.
  • A zero-waste campus.

How?

Students and teachers from foundation to year 12 participated in an array of engaging educational activities during Clean Up Week. These included:

  • A whole school presentation on common rubbish found in school and how we can sustainably replace them
  • Decorating the campus to inform students about sustainability
  • A treasure hunt
  • A multi-event relay race, which included a rubbish riddle, a sack race, recycle bin design and Rubbish Rush
  • A team competition to win Environmental Champion

Environmental Champion Competition

For each kilogram of rubbish collected in reusable bags, 1 EnviroPoint was awarded – which was also a $10 donation to the Human Appeal. For the events throughout Clean Up Week, first place teams were awarded 3 EnviroPoints, second place 2 points and third place 1 point.

Recognition was given to two Environmental Champion Teams (secondary and primary) with an environmentally friendly trophy. The teams will defend their titles at next year’s event.

Changes made

Through the success of Clean Up Week, Minaret has seen a positive change which has empowered the student body to take on more projects of this kind and shown a change in the school culture about environmental responsibility, including inspiring other such environmentally oriented events.

Year 9 and 10 students organised an Action for Climate Change program in which they sold environmentally sustainable metal straws, pot plants, sweets and had quizzes on climate change to educate people on the drastic effects it is having on our planet. With every purchase a question about climate change or the environment had to be answered – not leaving students with a purchase but a piece of information to ponder upon.

Minaret have also seen a general shift in student attitude towards littering, as students remind one another not to litter, and in general have seen a much cleaner school landscape.

What’s next?

Minaret will ensure there are many more environmentally sustainable activities and keep Clean Up Week a recurring event. Now that they know how to successfully plan and manage events within their school – what works and what doesn’t – they will undertake more projects to make Project Zero a reality.

What does this mean for student voice?

This project has instilled a sense of confidence within the student body – with the success of the project, the involvement of students and student voice has increased. Minaret are now looking at potential cross campus and inter-school projects and trying to tackle larger problems within the community.

The project has strengthened the belief in students, and they are now contributing to decision making processes and collectively influencing outcomes by putting forward their views, concerns and ideas, and actively participating in their school and community.

All students to are now able to attend meetings, and this project provided the opportunity for students to work more with school staff and strengthen those relationships. There is now also a more integrated decision-making process within the school where students are consulted about school decisions.

Student-Led Project Tips from Minaret College Officer

  • Designate clear roles for any people involved.
  • Set a clear communication channel between students when organising and completing tasks.
  • Set your objectives and goals from the start so there is no confusion during the project or activities.
  • Consult with school leadership and teachers about what is needed for your project, activities or event.

We had to build trust and respect for one another and relationships to properly coordinate the student led initiative.

The Student-Led Project Award is part of the annual VicSRC Student Voice Awards which recognise and celebrate best practice initiatives, schools and people in student voice. 

Minaret College Case Study 2019 (46 downloads)