Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Leading environmental education to empower learners for a sustainable future.

Telephone02 9247 7321

Emailobservhill-e.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Enviromaths

Enviromaths is an incursion program that helps students investigate their school’s environmental sustainability using Mathematics and Science and Technology. Students investigate how environmentally sustainable their school is and devise strategies to improve sustainability across the whole school community. 

Enviromaths provides real examples of the practical application of Working Mathematically and ways of incorporating Science and Technology Education to enhance student outcomes. Students are able to use their maths skills in a practical way to investigate environmental data that is relevant and meaningful to their lives.

Key inquiry question

How sustainable is our school and what can be done to improve it?

Key syllabus outcomes

  • To enhance mathematics outcomes, particularly in the content strand of working mathematically
  • To enhance Science and Technology outcomes particularly in the area of scientific investigation
  • To enhance computer literacy and technology outcomes through the use of iPads, interactive whiteboards and other mobile technologies

Integrating the ‘Sustainability’ Cross Curriculum Priority is a feature of the program.

Skills outcomes

  • working scientifically
  • working technologically
  • working mathematically

Previsit and  follow up activities

Successful excursions have direct links to current classroom learning. Pre-visit activities carried out prior to the excursion will help students better understand their excursion content and provide connectedness and relevance to classroom learning.

Download the student pre-visit and follow up activity worksheet (DOCX 122.4KB)

On the day activities

During the full day fieldwork excursion, students will:

  • learn about the importance of adopting sustainable behaviours
  • Identify current school sustainability practices
  • calculate their own ecological footprint
  • conduct a school water audit to determine the number and quality of water devices
  • examine school water consumption data to calculate the school’s water efficiency
  • estimate the proportion of school grounds supporting biodiversity
  • undertake an invertebrate survey in school gardens using sampling techniques
  • examine the school’s electricity webgraph to calculate their school’s energy efficiency
  • undertake an appliance and lighting audit (with a lux meter) to determine the number of electrical appliances and the percentage of school areas under or over lit.
  • examine the contents of a typical school waste bin to calculate the percentage of items that could be recycled or sent to landfill
  • use the results of their investigations to improve school sustainability in one focus area.

Excursion program downloads

Download these documents to help with your excursion planning:

Example of an Enviromaths activity

Waste audit

Students will examine the contents of a typical school waste bin to calculate the percentage of items that could be recycled or sent to landfill.

Activity outcomes are that students will be able to:

Compare, order and calculate with fractions, decimals and percentages.