AYCC’s Switched on Schools program uses a peer-to-peer approach to ignite students’ interest in climate change. Students develop their understanding of sustainability and build skills in change making. They are then connected to a youth leadership network and supported to make meaningful change in their schools, communities and beyond. In 2014, the program engaged over 10,000 students across Australia!
The program is comprised of four parts:
1. An interactive engaging website (www.switchedonschools.org.au)
The Switched on Schools website gives students the opportunity to start their own campaigns. Students then engage their networks to participate by signing on. Once momentum builds, “next step” resources assist students to put their campaign into action. This can vary from implementing a waste management system in a school to meeting with a member of Parliament about Australia’s climate policy. Students are inspired by their peers’ campaigns and stories from across Australia.
2. In-school Presentations
Trained AYCC mentors (18–30 year-olds) deliver climate science and solutions presentations to hundreds of high schools- highlighting the role of young people in leading change. The presentation includes high-energy videos and animations that spark interest in climate action.
3. Transformative Summits
Summits are 2 day excursions for over 100 students from a range of different high schools. The students hear from climate science and solutions experts, as well as a range of young people that are actively making change in their communities. Workshops explore climate change in terms of systems, futures and worldviews. Students are facilitated to develop a number of change making skills, such as managing groups and communicating climate change. Students plan sustainability campaigns to take back to their school and communities. Networks are formed with students and volunteers to support them into the future.
4. Student Climate Action Network (SCAN)
All students are connected to the Student Climate Action Network (SCAN). Made up of high school leaders from across Victoria, SCAN provides a horizontal platform for passionate students to develop their in-schools campaigns as well as to collaborate and plan initiatives across schools. Students also get the opportunity to participate in national and global climate campaigns and provide feedback that contributes to the direction of the program. This group meets monthly in person and communicates online between these times.
For more information, visit the Switched on Schools website.