School’s out Friday – but not this week

Yes, today is Friday and time for the customary school’s out post. This week it’s different, because school is definitely on for me and my students tomorrow as we stage our Project Global Cooling concert. Tune in to ustream (streaming live 3.00pm to 5.00pm Melbourne, Aust. timezone) to see the result of my student’s efforts. The concert has been organised with a budget of zero; our students have convinced artists to appear for free and many people in our school and wider community have given their time and donated goods to ensure that the concert can take place. The students are pumped – one has even just posted a comment on this blog to let me know how excited she is. Today we received an email from Peter Garrett, environment minister for our Australian Labor Party (current party holding government) and former lead singer of Australian iconic band Midnight Oil. Here’s what he had to say to us;

Congratulations to Year 9 students at Toorak College for your work with Project Global Cooling.

I am delighted that you are combining two of my great passions – the environment and music. Your positive aim to spread the word about the challenges of climate change that we all face, from Mt.Eliza to the world, is very important. Music is a great way to communicate, inspire and unite people towards this common goal.

Have a great day. Enjoy the music. And once again, congratulations on your good work.

Peter Garrett AM MP

Federal Member for Kingsford Smith

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. 

 Brooke. one of the students involved in the project, had sent him an email a few weeks ago and thought nothing was going to come of it. She was over the moon today when she walked through the school reception area and was told that Peter Garrett’s ministerial office had just phoned the school to let her know that an email had been sent. One of the artists appearing tomorrow is Mark Seymour. He used to front Hunters and Collectors, a very well known band here in Australia. His brother is Nick Seymour from Crowded House, a band that international readers would be familiar with. This is Mark singing ‘Throw your arms around me’ – enjoy.

On a different note, I was reading the comments thread in Clay Burell’s post about the efforts of schools around the world to stage concerts to raise awareness about global warming and the future of this planet when I saw this comment from Stephen Downes.  

This has bothered me about this sort initiative for a while…

If this is such an “international” collaboration, why do all the participants have names that sound like they were raised in Iowa?

This was my response that I posted in the comment thread;

@Stephen Downes. I’m sorry that it bothers you so much that the participants in Project Global Cooling sound like they come from Iowa. I. in fact, hail from Melbourne, Australia, and it bothers me that your focus seems to be on our common language rather than the incredible efforts of the students involved and their desire to make a difference in their world. My students have worked tirelessly for the last six weeks and are thrilled to be contributing to a global project. Much has been made of their efforts within our school community and I think it fair to say that the entire school is embracing the need for a determined approach to the reduction of our carbon footprint as a result of our involvement in the project. Please recognise the genuine desire of the students involved to make change a reality, rather than focus on your criticisms of what you consider to be a skewed international involvement.

Jenny Luca. Toorak College, Melbourne, Australia.

Enjoy your weekend. I know that tomorrow I will be basking in the energy and enthusiasm emanating from a wonderful group of girls who have worked very hard to make Project Global cooling a reality in our school, our community and the world.    

12 Replies to “School’s out Friday – but not this week”

  1. Jenny, give me that GMT time for your uStream, pleeez.

    This is far beyond anything I expected from any school, much less one that jumped in less than a month ago. It speaks volumes for you, your students and school – not to mention your government. Can you imagine that guy in the White House (DC) taking time to commend and support?

    Give me the times so I can send an all-mail out to the Ning members!!!

    Again – outstanding. Exciting. Cool.

  2. @Clay @Carolyn – it is great to see everything come to fruition – the kids have worked hard. Try and tune in on ustream and talk to two of the students who will be working the backchannel. They’d be thrilled with an international audience and it would validate everything I’ve been saying to them about the world watching what we are doing.

  3. @Jenny Luca
    You mentioned internet problems of only being able to open one page at a time. I would suggest downloading a different web browser ( download it, and install it, and see if it has the same problem.

    If you can view webpages with it just fine, if you are on a PC, try to go into Control Panel then “Add/Remove Programs” and try to “Uninstall” Internet Explorer. Once you try to you may get an option to “Repair Internet Explorer” so try that.

  4. Congratulations Jenny and your resourceful year 9 students. I attended the u-stream concert and it was fabulous. What a great way to raise environmental awareness.

  5. Jenny and students: Way to go! Nice job getting people to think about important issues and maybe changing a few minds in the process. It’s amazing what you all were able to pull off in such a short time.

  6. @Bill Farren – thanks Bill – it was your fabulous video that we used in our launch that helped start this process so thank you!
    @Lindsea – you are amazing. Thank you for being there for us- you made an enormous impact on these students at the launch and this is what got our involvement off the ground.

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