FW EDUCATION#3 The Green and golden Frog tank loan

THE GREEN AND GOLDEN FROG TANK LOAN  

This program focuses on the needs and threats of our local threatened and endangered frogs and learning outcomes will be greatly enhanced by students caring for the animal(s).

The Green and Golden frog tank loan hands-on learning initiative that can be tied in with a variety of topics, such as Climate Change, Habitat, Life, Development, Evolution, Water, Waste and Communities.

The loan fee for the frog enclosure is $250, which covers the drop off and pick up of the frog enclosure, and a 45 mins frog-talk-session to your students.

 

Objectives of the program (will tidy them up later)

  • To involve students actively in caring for an endangered species, the iconic Green and Golden Bell Frog.
  • To provide students with a range of hands-on actions for their everyday life to positively impact on the environment and to minimise their ecological footprint.
  • To introduce students to various factors responsible for the dramatic decline in species numbers (e.g. climate change, introduced pest species, introduced amphibian Chytrid fungus, habitat loss, water quality changes)
  • To foster discussion in classrooms about action plans and management strategies to reduce the threats, such as natural resource management plans, climate change actions and control mechanisms for pest species
  • To familiarize students with the concept of endangered and threatened species.
  • To promote practical actions and involvement within the wider school community to positively affect the environment, minimize the use of resources and support sustainability.
  • To teach through a hands-on experience how to look after an amphibian animal.
  • To increase the learning outcomes further through learning about the Captive Breeding Program for the threatened species at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
  • To facilitate interactions between the students and ACT FROGWATCH, through presentations and discussions with the students of frog research relating to climate change, introduced pest species or habitat destruction/fragmentation.
  • To enhance and preserve significant natural assets such as frogs and their habitats

Typically, school programs about endangered species focus on delivering the theoretical component only. An important exception is the ASX Frog Focus Botany project, started in 1998 by the Taronga Zoo, and a “first” for school student involvement in endangered species monitoring. ASX was highly successful and has branched off into several other areas. There have been no educational programs in the ACT that offer a hands-on learning unit about endangered species until now. Hands-on learning accesses different methods of learning styles and students remember material better, experience accomplishment, and transfer that experience easier to other learning situations. Students with learning difficulties are “on task” more often as they feel part of the learning process. Since its inception in 2010, the Frogs for the Future project has seen high student involvement and strong learning outcomes for all class levels and student abilities. Students gained a wide range of academic and non-academic skills. Leading scientists and the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve have greatly supported the project and assisted its development to date.

Now all ACT schools have joined the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI) or ACT Smart Schools Program. Frogs For The Future supports schools in their quest to increase environmental awareness and to work towards Sustainability as it is strongly linked to environment related topics (e.g. Climate Change, Sustainability). Students gain an understanding for threats to (local) animals and ecological communities which will encourage environmental stewardship in the students. The knowledge gained by students will most effectively be communicated by these very students themselves in discussions with their families, friends and the wider community and as this leads to changes in approaches and behaviours regarding our environment. The program is designed to increase on-ground activities, such as creating frog habitats, waste management, or bush regeneration, involving the wider school community. This will help to enhance and preserve significant natural assets such as frogs and their habitats.