Harvester Technical College Sunshine (formerly ATC Sunshine) provides vocationally oriented education to Year 10, 11 & 12 students and facilitates career pathways into the industrial trades. The College curriculum is dedicated to increasing the number of suitably prepared apprentices available for employers in Australia to help resolve current workforce skills shortages.
The Aquadux Project is an example of ‘green learning’, where students learn and implement real life sustainability solutions in authentic contexts. Within the project learning opportunities were created for students, teachers and industry partners. The Aquadux Project encouraged students to focus on water sustainability and the three “R”s of sustainability; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
The project formed the basis for development of an innovative curriculum model incorporating sustainable water use principles into current plumbing apprenticeship training.
There were five key aspects to the project:
- Demonstration site and community solutions
- Development of curriculum resources and teaching materials
- Engagement with industry partners
- Action research to measure cultural change and learning behaviour
- Communicating learning outcomes
Students created a water-wise community learning shed that serves as a demonstration site incorporating water and energy efficient design and fittings and integrated gardens. This demonstration site allowed students to showcase skills learnt through the Aquadux Project.
Students took learned skills and solutions relevant to sustainable plumbing practice to other sites in the local community including other schools, community facilities and industrial practice.
The Aquadux Project integrated a unique combination of curriculum development and innovation in teaching practice and industry participation. Progress with project work was supported and by academic research aimed at monitoring modification to cultural and learning behaviours in relation to sustainable water use practices.