Like all students, those in ENV1101 must jump through certain hoops for grades. AKA assessments. But as much as possible, the goal is to make those assessments authentic, i.e., meaningful activities and tasks that allow them to showcase their abilities to apply vital knowledge and skills. And meaningful refers to realistic, complex tasks that replicate the contexts in which professionals are tested. If students can make a tangible difference with their work, all the better. And that’s the rationale behind the group project.
Students work in small groups to articulate their vision for a more sustainable future. They must identify a challenge that they deem worthy of sustainable development analysis because of its harmful impacts on the environment, and then propose a novel solution to reduce the impacts. Solutions must be useful and feasible and students must present them at a sustainability fair using any medium they like. The fair is open to the public, but special invitations are sent to all Faculty in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Geography as well as to a wide network of contacts in the local, environmental field.
Below is an image showcasing several of the projects presented at the 2018 Fair – the solutions ranged from doing away with those seemingly inescapable and pesky thermal paper receipts (which can’t be recycled), to growing plants in media partly made from microplastics, to a programme to properly handle used disposable contact lenses to moving away from liquid soap dispensers. If you want to come see what our students come up with in 2019, you’re more than welcome to join us (see flyer at right).