Rachelle Ngai supports Eco-Schools Conference at Skipton Girls High School

Rachelle Ngai, Assistant Analyst hopes to inspire the next generation at Skipton Girls High School students at their first ever Eco-Schools Conference. Below, Rachelle gives us her account of the day.

Eco-Schools conference

Last Wednesday 12 July, Skipton Girls’ High School hosted their first Eco-Schools Conference. It was a very successful day filled with workshops, talks, and an exhibition of multiple organisations. The aim was to inspire students to protect the environment, both individually and as a school organisation.

Along with two other fantastic organisations, I was asked to stand up in front of students from the age of 13-16 and inspire them to be involved in environmental action. I was unsure about what I could impart on these students. I set out to learn from them through collaborations and to provide some fun and interesting stories and advice from my own experiences.

Collaboration

I arrived in the afternoon at the school and was hit with the buzzing atmosphere of the students’ eagerness and my own nervousness. The students had just taken a break for lunch. Before which they had a morning full of workshops run by Craven DEC and Countryside Education. As the exhibition for the afternoon was being set up, I had a chance to speak to others. I watched as organisations such as Friends of the Earth, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) ambassadors, and environmental groups borne from Skipton Girls High School set up to charm and inspire the students.

So, as the students settled back in, two inspiring teen sisters, who co-founded Kids Against Plastic, motivated students to think about their use of single-use plastic. They provided a passionate and clear understanding of the environmental effects of the use and misuse of single-use plastic. They encouraged everyone to help them to clear 100,000 pieces of single-use plastic beverage items and microplastics from the environment. This proved again that the younger generation are the future. We have a responsibility to support this type of work and leave a better environment.

Greenpeace were next. Their representative was able to concisely move through the impacts of human actions on the world and further emphasize that every small action can make a difference.

Sharing experience

Last, I tried to convince them how diverse, fun, and fulfilling environmental interests and a career could be. During my own time in educational institutions, from high school to university, I had many opportunities. I visited recycling centres, helped produce eco-fashion shows and founded and chaired the Science Undergraduate Society Environment Committee. I even led vegan cooking workshops. This meant I learnt a lot about others, myself, and how environmental action is not only about a better life and habitat for my favourite living and non-living things. It’s for the entire human population.

JBA projects

Now, as an environmental specialist, my work is varied and stimulating. I am proud to still be a part of environmental action. I am part of a team which supports local communities in opposing hydraulic fracturing through the application of a scientific evidence approach.

Another team I am part of is helping to build a scientific evidence base on Natural Flood Management. This is a national project which will be launched in October and will describe and explain the effectiveness of different Natural Flood Management measures.

My work in environmental action continues to be fulfilling and challenging, and inspires me to learn more.

Events like this remind me of the great potential and current power and influence of the youth of today. They are not bound by our fears and experiences. They allow everyone to share ideas and achievements to help others flourish. Therefore, encouraging each and every one of us to better the environment.

Want to know more?

Contact Rachelle Ngai for more information about her attendance at the Eco-School Conference. You can also visit our environmental web pages to find out more about our work in this area.

The JBA Trust also work with schools and encourage uptake of STEM. Find out more on their website or contact Alex Scott.



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