Picking up rubbish may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but for students at Busselton Senior High School, a beach clean-up helped them put their classroom learning into practice. Fifty Year 9 students took part in the excursion along a 4km stretch of the Ngari Capes Marine Park at Meelup for a Tangaroa Blue WA beach clean-up last month. From Point Piquet to Castle Bay, the students were able to see the real-world impact debris had on the marine environment and associated ecosystems, collecting more than 60kg of plastics and rubbish. Head of Year 9 Geoffrey Holt said the hands-on experience allowed the students to understand their classwork in a real setting. “Education for sustainability is a national and State curriculum priority and there is no better way for students to engage with this vital topic than for them to undertake project-based learning which empowers them to make a difference,” he said. “Research also shows that young people are increasingly anxious and even depressed about the state of the planet and the climate emergency; the key thing is to empower them to think global and art local. “Sustainability is also one of three areas of focus for the student council at school alongside Global Citizenship and Promoting & Celebrating Diversity.” Students recovered what items they could for recycling and reuse before disposing the remainder appropriately. Student Theo Hoyes said the experience was an eye-opener. “You can read books and watch documentaries in class but to get out there and recover this much waste with our bare hands is really powerful,” he said. “I feel good to have played a small part in protecting the bay and the life it supports,” he said.