In the past week things have gotten a little crazy!
In our last post we mentioned how we had come up with some pretty cool ideas. Our teacher told us not to worry if the idea seemed impossible... we would find a way to make it work.
Our community jumped on board to help make our ideas a reality. Let's start with Fairlite Plastics. Fairlite Plastics specialise in Perspex cut to size, Lexan polycarbonate, Alupanel Composite Aluminium, Central Coast plastic supplies, Laserlite Roofing, Suntuf Roofing, Boat Windscreens, Marine Plastics, Corflute, Engineering Plastics, Brochure Holders,Polystyrene Foam, Hobby Supplies, signage products and much more. We are giving them a big plug because they really helped us out
We needed a window for our cow.
Yes a window.... and well the cow isn't flat and a window for a cow is a very odd request.
We sent our teacher out to see what she could do. The first plastics place sent her on the way laughing about how she wanted to replace the cow udders with an acrylic dome...but she is glad they did. Why? Because this wouldn't have happened.
So our teacher came back with a dome. Ok, it wasn’t exactly what we had in mind… we were after all going to replace the udders… but there is always a plan B.
We then got in touch with friend of the school Jason Breakwell. Jason travelled up from Sydney to help us cut a hole in the cow. Now we needed Jason for four reasons:
Jason got to work straight away. Our teacher was a little on edge while he hacked into our cow but he did an awesome job. Anyone walking by the school would have been wondering what was going on. He gave us instructions on how to attach the window when we were ready to go.
Jason then worked with Steven, Brandon, Aaron and Frankie to construct our corrugated iron canvas. This will be used for our multimedia presentation. We cannot wait to show you what we have planned for this!
We had archibull class in the afternoon and began defining our ideas further. We also spent some time exploring the impacts of the current drought. We were particular moved by this poem. tendaily.com.au/news/australia/a180716wnv/the-haunting-poem-that-is-the-silent-face-of-drought-20180717
Many of us at Youth Off The Streets have seen our families struggle or feel like there is no way out of a situation. This really hit home for us and is essential what is driving our design.
Catronia led the way pulling the group together in a final brainstorm. We finished lil T-bone off with a sponge bath of sugar soap and put him to bed. Overall, a very successful day. It feels like this project is on its way!
Check out how we are sharing our work with the community. We are so excited people are talking about how we are raising the steaks.
Firstly we made the local paper.
We also made Art for Agriculture's newsletter. Check it out here. See what Tim Eyes had to say about our visit!
This lesson we continued to examine the issue of food security. Our teacher wanted us to be aware of some of the amazing organisations that have come up with solutions to beat the problem. These organisations included Oz Harvest and Food Bank. You can see some of our learning here.
We also began to start making connections to inform our design. Can you follow the diagram below? We waned to see where we fit into the picture.
The ideas then began to flow! We can't wait to show you what we have come up with!!
On Friday the 29th June we met our young farming champion Tim Eyes at his farm in Wyong Creek. We got out of the bus and were greeted by Tim and Hannah and their farm dog. Tim took us to see the different crops he was growing so that the cows had sufficient food to eat. Some of the crops included types of grass, oats and potatoes. We enjoyed getting our hands dirty while digging for potatoes.
Tim then introduced us to Joyce the dairy cow and her adopted calf. We named the calf DJ Ravioli! John enjoyed helping hand catch the calf so that we could walk and pat it. We then had the opportunity to milk Joyce. What an experience for those that were brave!
Following this, Hannah had to take the mareema sheepdog away so we could visit the chickens. This dog was amazing. He protects the chickens like the dog from the movie Oddball protected the penguins. John and Aaliyah collected two cartons of eggs from the chickens while Catriona gave them a cuddle.
We then met the cattle. We had to call them down the hill by calling “C’mon”. To be honest it was a bit frightening when they all ran towards the fence. We were able to feed them while we learnt about the beef industry from Tim. We discussed different types of cattle, how they breed, the abattoirs and the various products beef are used for.
Lunch was cooked by Hannah... mmmm.... beef sausages. We picked oranges from the mini orchard and ate them after lunch. They were delicious. Tim let us take some home.
We finished the day with a mini photo shoot for the Central Coast Express Advocate. We can't wait to see ourselves in the paper. We were sad to leave Tim, Hannah and the farm and can't wait to spend more time there in the future
This is some of what we leant:
“Different types of grass thrive or die depending on the season.” – Aaliyah
“The bull is only brought in for a short period of time to breed with the cows.” – John
“Potatoes grow in the ground. Seeing that blew my socks off.” – Brandan (aka HoP)
“There are beef products in many of our medicines.” – Amy
“I learnt how to milk a cow. It was strange.” – Catriona
“I realised how much work each farmer has to put in to grow a cow.” – Aaron
We thank Tim, Hannah and Tim's family for having us on their property. How lucky are we to have such a great mentor?!!
Our lesson today centred on Food Security. Food security is ensuring everyone has equal access to food. You can learn more about food security and what we learnt here.
We began by doing a quiz from Caritas Australia around who has access to food. A few things in this quiz surprised us especially the fact that we grow enough food to feed the world's population... they just are unable to access it for a variety of reasons.
We did an activity where we imagined we were a family living below the poverty line. We had $20 to prepare our food for the week. We used the Coles pamphlets to budget. It was hard and the food we had in the end wasn't fresh or nutritious. Further to this there was not a lot of beef on the menu. In fact the only beef could be found in the canned chunky soup. We talked about the fairness of this. Why don't people have access to beef?
Although we talk about this over on our food security page, we discovered that Australians ate the most meat in the world while developing countries had very little access. Don't believe us? Check out the Business Insider article found here. We looked at pictures from families all over the world by photographer Peter Menzel. This opened up a lot of discussion over lunch about equality. We will continue to look at food security next lesson.
As it was refugee week we sat down to a lunch built of rations from a Syrian refugee.Our teacher was completing the Act for Peace ration challenge all week and so we could join her in experiencing what it was like. Our lunch was made from flour, water, chickpeas, red kidney, lentils and rice. We were also lucky to have some black tea. This helped us understand that there are people in the world even worse off then us. We talked about feeling sad and angry about food security. Why can't refugees have access to beef? We are going to explore the inequality in the world further.
We have introduced silent reading at school. This week our teacher decided to make a giant fort our of blankets for us read our favourite stories from our childhood in. It was quite cosy! Lil' T-Bone was the structural giant that kept our fort standing. Thanks for reading with us Lil' T-Bone
Today we delved into the world of biosecurity. This was a new concept to us and something we had to learn about. We began by watching a video about Pirates of the Caribbean… ok, maybe it was more about Johnny Depp’s dogs. This was a good introduction to biosecurity. We kind of understood what Miss was talking about now.
We broke into two groups, or airports – Melbourne and Sydney. Each of us had to fill in a passenger card and declare what we had brought into school that day. We all ticked the question about recent contact with farm animals and farms due to our farm visit in the last fortnight. We discussed the reasons why these questions were asked and began to collect our thinking around biosecurity and add it to the think tank.
We had a number of items that needed testing from airport security. These items included a soccer boot (probably because the world cup was coming up), a shell, a wooden bead, a leaf and a quarter of a honey sandwich. You can learn more about our experiment and what we learnt here. This was an interesting introduction that helped us understand the concept of biosecurity.
We visited the National Pest and Disease Outbreak website and looked at current threats in NSW. Luckily Lil’ T-Bone had nothing to worry about at the moment. However, bananas in the Northern Territory have to beware of the Banana Freckle! We also discussed how Virginia at Grace Springs Farm (which we have visited) could ensure her property was safe from any threats.
This weeks archibull session was topped off by some fabulous beef sliders prepared by Michaela and John. As it was such a lovely day we took our lunch outside and discussed possible creative ideas for our archi. We also wrote some questions for TIm and can't wait to meat him next week.
Today we visited Grace Springs Farm at Kulnura. We had the BEST afternoon. After a warm greeting by Virginia, Tony and Molly, we began our tour of the farm. First stop - the cows! We learnt a great deal about keeping cows, their anatomy and how to train them. Virginia suggested that her friend Lotta join us. We all fell instantly in love with this gentle and curious soul. Much to our delight we were able to lead Harmony around the rest of the farm with us. As Aaliyah took the rope she declared, “I love my life!”
Heading towards the chickens we said a quick hello to the very noisy sheep. On arrival to the chicken pen Steven found a runaway. He was definitely the chicken whisperer! It is no secret that Aaron loves his chicken… and well, his love was obvious as he hugged a chook. “Can you adopt me?”, he said to Virginia.
We then tasted Thai Basil in the market garden, cuddled some meat chickens, and helped with some chores. One group learnt how Virginia rotates her cattle on the property and another assisted in the moving of a group of ducks.
To finish the day we cuddled some duckings. Virginia and Tony had to check pockets as we were leaving to make sure we didn’t smuggle any out.
We can’t wait to visit Grace Springs Farm again. We learnt so much and Virginia was amazing at explaining all things farming at our level. These are some of the things we learnt:
“You can run and manage a fund without having a great deal of money. You just use what you have there and it all comes together.” - Isabella
“All the animals have a job on the farm. They have to work for their food.” - Aaron
“Cows are actually easy to train when they are first born so when they get older it is easier to move them to different paddocks and look after them.” – Chelsea
“Cows can get up to 450 kilos!” - Steven
“I learnt about the anatomy of cows and chickens.” – Aaliyah
“There are different types of chickens – meat birds and egg-laying birds!” – Brandon
"“The students learnt about holistic farming, permaculture and the benefits of chemical-free produce. Virginia and Tony engaged them in all aspects of the property and I know that when we return to the classroom the discussion around their experiences will be rich. “ – Amy
Selfies with Lotta
Lil' T-bone is in the building!
Thanks to our amazing delivery guy, Lil' T-Bone has made a new home at TLC.
Lil' T-Bone checks out the school and the learning we have done so far.
Our teacher Amy is excited to have a new class pet.
Our second formal lesson focussed on the Archibull was so much fun. We decided to work on some of the skills we needed to complete the project such as blogging, artistic ideas and stop animation. Catriona and Brandon worked on documenting some of our learning on the blog from last week. Adam and Isabella played with some stop animation software. We are hoping to use stop animation in our multimedia project. This was challenging but fun! Chelsea and Aaron finished off some learning around Women in Agriculture and then begun to brainstorm possible ideas/artistic styles in which we could decorate our cow. (We had to stop them when Aaron decided we were going to turn our archi into a fish tank for a sea cow!)
Meanwhile, Daryl and John worked hard to create a beautiful beef inspired meal for us all to share. Using Australian beef and produce, Daryl and John made us all Spaghetti Bolognese. We have decided to make a beef dish every learning session that we can gather around and share our ideas/enjoy each others company. We want the participants of this project to experience a sense of BELONGING. Belonging is one of the elements of The Circle of Courage model we are using to guide our learning in this project. It was lovely to sit together and share ideas and thoughts. As we have a few new students to our school it was also a great chance to learn a little more about them. What a team we have!
The amazing students from The Lakes College, Youth Off The Streets