Hong Kong school makes plastic promise


A school in Hong Kong has jumped on board the Volvo Ocean Race Education Programme and its students and teachers are making changes in their own lives to help turn the tide on plastic.

The children, from the Dalton School in Hong Kong, were talking in class about landfill issues in Hong Kong and decided to carry out an experiment by wrapping one piece of pepper in plastic and taking one without and putting them both in the ground. 

As one piece decayed the class of 19 kids were shocked at how the one wrapped in plastic didn’t.

This made them want to learn more about the issues around plastic pollution and, coincidentally, at the same time they found out about the Volvo Ocean Race Education Programme.

Hong Kong school makes plastic promise | Volvo Ocean Race

Shaun Porter, Vice Principal, Dalton School, said: “We’ve been using the education programme to teach the kids about the problem of plastic in our oceans but we’ve also adapted it to use in our maths lessons as well.

“Kids in our music lessons are even making instruments out of recycled materials. The programme has created a passion and awareness of the health of our oceans. 

“Even at such a young age they are thinking about how what they do in their daily lives can impact upon the environment. The programme has helped expand their world and given them more of a global perspective on the problems.

“They’re also creating that ripple effect by taking the message home to their parents and telling them that they should minimise their use of plastic.” 

The children, aged between four and six years old, have all become ocean advocates and now track how each boat is doing in the race. The school has a connection with the Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag team and recently had a live chat with the crew as they raced towards the Hong Kong finish line in first place.

Lucy Hunt, Volvo Ocean Race Education Programme Manager, added: “It’s inspiring to hear how the kids have not only got involved with the Education Programme in the classroom but have also taken what they’ve learned home and are now advocates for our work.” 

Sustainability leaders 11th Hour Racing sponsor this international education programme. Resources are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch and Chinese. Different cross-curricular class activities are also optional and listed in the teacher’s booklet of each topic. 

Although the booklets are age specific the 8-12 year olds booklets are a good introductory fact booklet for anyone older who also wants to be better informed on the Volvo Ocean Race, our ocean connection, ocean health and how we can reduce ocean plastic pollution.

All education materials are available for free download from the Volvo Ocean Race website.

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