About The Program
St Columba’s: Operation STEAM Clean the Bay (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Maths) was a 3 year project that started in July 2017 and was completed in June 2020. The program aimed to transform our landscape, curriculum and leadership projects – activating our community to care for the Bay, connecting everyday decisions to Bay health and ultimately improve it.
St Columba’s Primary School – a 5Star ResourceSmart School is committed to advancing their community-wide sustainability leadership and is located in the seaside suburb of Elwood. They want to improve the current environmental health of Port Phillip Bay.
Operation STEAM Clean the Bay project included:
- Redesigning front facing landscape (rain garden, erosion-proofing, drought-proofed gardens, stormwater management) to reduce and address Bay’s health threats
- Learning/sharing Indigenous historical and scientific knowledge of our bayside ecosystems with the Boon Wurrung Foundation, Port Phillip EcoCentre, and guest career speakers from Bay-related fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math
- Conducting community engagement activities including signage, artwork, community clean-up days, Climate Change Choir that all increase awareness of the Bay’s environmental health and value.
Volunteers and members of the community participated in the project via:
- Assisting at community/school service events
- Taking part in local career speaking opportunities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (as they relate to the Bay)
- Enjoying the enhanced amenity value of the Bay and the improved exterior / community garden area outside of St Columba’s
- Engaging with community engagement initiatives (educational signage, artwork, Climate Change Choir, media outreach).
Partnerships between community groups/organisations were encouraged via:
- Learning and sharing Indigenous historical knowledge of our bayside ecosystems with the Boon Wurrung Foundation, Port Phillip EcoCentre, and guest career speakers from the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math as they relate to the Bay
- Conducting community engagement activities – including community cleanup days, Kids Teaching Kids conference, Climate Change Choir visiting local kindergartens, media outreach – that encourage involvement
- Encouraging and recognising pro-bono support of tangible works
- The sharing of project outcomes with other schools in Victoria via ResourceSmart Schools, and with the broader community through the Green Team blog.
Operation STEAM Clean the Bay was funded through the Victorian Government’s Port Phillip Bay Fund, delivered by St Columba’s Primary School Elwood and auspiced by Port Phillip EcoCentre.