An Auckland-based charity has found a mobile way to get across its message about marine pollution.
Sustainable Coastline’s Education Station, a shipping container converted into a mobile classroom, is due to arrive on Auckland’s waterfront this week.
The modified container, equipped with audio visual resources, games and a museum-like display, will function as an educational hub for people wanting to learn about marine pollution.
Chris Cochrane, Sustainable Coastline’s event manager, says the organisation will also be running a series of five free workshops geared toward children aged five to 11.
He says the workshops, which will begin this Sunday and finish in July, are a way to engage kids to learn simple and innovative ways to turn rubbish into usable things.
“Kids, with the use of a craft knife and a pair of snips can make planters out of plastic bottles,” he says.
Based outside the Events Centre on Jellicoe St, the container will open to coincide with other events, like the markets, and on the weekends as a display for passers-by.
Education Station has been stirring interest since it debuted at the Auckland Seafood festival in January.
“The maiden voyage for Education Station at the Seafood Festival turned a few heads,” says Cochrane.
“The week following, we were quite busy with phone calls from organisations and individuals who were keen to have it involved with their projects.”
These included Auckland Zoo, the Taranaki Women’s Surf Festival and Auckland Council.
Frith Walker, from Auckland Waterfront, says the driving forces behind the decision were an appreciation for the work Sustainable Coastlines does and a common focus on sustainability.
“The entire redevelopment of the area has a strong sustainable undercurrent, like the Jellicoe St rain gardens and storm water treatment at Silo Park.”
She says Auckland Waterfront hopes the workshops will generate ongoing support for sustainable practices, and will encourage a returning crowd.
Since the seafood festival, the container has secured a spot at Maui Dolphin Day in Raglan, Omana Children’s Day and functioned as a centre point for Sustainable Coastline’s Great Coromandel Coastal Cleanup Event.
Sustainable Coastlines, which started out primarily as a coastal clean-up organisation, has had an increasing focus on education since its registration in 2009. A large part of its time is spent visiting schools around the country.
The mobility of Education Station, says brand manager Camden Howitt, helps Sustainable Coastlines reach more schools with better resources, meaning education on a grander scale.
Howitt says the idea follows in the tradition of mobile educational projects that have worked in the past, like the Life Education classroom.
“The idea is to reach as many people as possible with our educational message,” he says.
Young people can register for the workshops online through either the Sustainable Coastlines or the Auckland Waterfront websites.
Education Station’s next stop will be the North Shore and then on to visit Northland schools over winter.