by Veronika Garga
Our grade 12 students conducted a collaborative class project during the past week. It included a trip to the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetlands Protected Area.
Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetlands Protected Area is the only protected nature area in the vicinity of our school. It is an important stop for migratory birds and is being developed as a nature reserve open to the public. While visiting the area, the impact of the pollution from greater Manila on the coastal regions was apparent and heartbreaking. This wetland area relies on the community to do periodic beach clean-ups to preserve the place for migratory birds and prevent it from being overrun by trash. The purpose of our visit this time was different from the beach clean-up and instead was focused on utilising this outdoor area to do some hands-on experiments in the field.
The purpose of the group 4 collaborative project was to showcase the necessity of collaboration across subjects to solve real-world issues. The overall topic presented for the students to investigate was “Sun exposure”. Students were free to interpret and explore this collaboratively within their groups. Each group consisted of students studying different sciences. The investigations groups came up with included the use of the sun in clean water production, the effectiveness of the sunscreens in UVB protection, and the impact of plastic pollution on the heat absorbance and pH of the coastal sands. The results of those investigations were intriguing and with clear real-life applications. The groups were also joined by Career Program (CP) students. While not taking any science courses, CP students still were actively engaged in the collaborative project by practising the interpersonal communication and organisation skills they learned in their CP classes.
The project overall was a great success, and the results of the findings were presented in school to faculty and grade 11 students.