St Peter's Primary School students test solutions to save Lake Cathie

Bright minds: Edie Porter, Alexander Parrish and Nathaniel Walsh of St Peter's Primary School look at ways to improve the health of Lake Cathie.
Bright minds: Edie Porter, Alexander Parrish and Nathaniel Walsh of St Peter's Primary School look at ways to improve the health of Lake Cathie.

STUDENTS at St Peter's Primary School have proven you are never too young to make a difference.

The year three students been designing, creating and testing a solution to the Lake Cathie erosion problem as part of their science/technology unit.

Students studied four methods for preventing erosion: planting, mulching, retaining walls and geotextiles. They applied their knowledge of these methods to their design and created a prototype using recycled materials and Lego.

They tested their prototype in a controlled setting and reflected on what adjustments they needed to make to their designs.

Alexander Parish went live on the year three school Facebook page testing his prototype.

"I enjoyed the task because it was fun and it also helps the environment. Lake Cathie use to look very beautiful. I also believe opening up the lake into the sea, will help to prevent further erosion at Lake Cathie," Alexander said.

Milla Kelly enjoyed the hands-on learning process.

"My favourite part of the learning was making the wall to stop the sand from eroding. The water won't wash away the sand and the land and will keep places like Lake Cathie more beautiful. If we do these projects, it will help us to come up with solutions to real life problems," Milla said.

Science in action: Milla Kelly and Mauve Gornall of St Peter's Primary School.

Science in action: Milla Kelly and Mauve Gornall of St Peter's Primary School.

Students spent several lessons creating their erosion prototypes and then testing their designs in a controlled environment.

A container of sand was used to represent the bank at Lake Cathie and a watering can represented the rain.

Teachers are hoping the project not only increases the design and creating skills of students, but also the application to real life situations.

The students noted several examples of erosion in the St Peter's Primary school grounds and also made suggestions for future erosion control projects.

"The retaining walls stopped the water from getting into the sea so that will help Lake Cathie to have more land on its banks," Nathaniel Walsh said.

Edie Porter was excited about the potential of their discoveries.

"The roots from the plants took away the water to help stop the erosion from happening. If we plant more trees at Lake Cathie it will help to make Lake Cathie great again."

Mauve Gornall will look at ways to refine her design.

"I'd like to improve my design by making it more stable, because my materials got all soggy and didn't stop the sand from getting through," she said.

"I like the idea of using geotextiles to prevent erosion. That way everyone can enjoy a great time at Lake Cathie and it will be more fun for guests and tourists to enjoy."

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