Development of the OMG! Program

Why develop another waste education program?

Waste and litter education in most secondary schools is lacking; teachers have little time in schedules to teach concepts that don’t link to their curriculum requirements. Additionally, feedback from schools suggested that while the waste education programs provided by local government were engaging, in most cases there were few designed specifically for secondary schools and there was little follow up in the classroom to reinforce the message. With the wide-scale rollout of the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic framework by Sustainability Victoria in mid 2012, it also emerged that there were very few resources aligned with the framework that were available to schools without calling on facilitators.

In early 2012 EEV was approached by Wrigley Pacific to develop a different type of waste education resource; one that complemented existing programs, resources and support already available, promoted best practice responsible litter education, and promoted long term behaviour in school aged children. With this brief in mind, the Oh My Garbage! Program was born.

How was OMG! developed?

The background research was extensive. The aim was to locate curriculum-based resources for teachers that were available online, with the intention of collating a list of existent resources rather than duplicating them.

During the research phase, several interesting points emerged:

  • Waste and litter resources were only occasionally linked together when searching online
  • Within resources, there was often insufficient background for teachers
  • A substantial number of curriculum resources are provided for primary schools
  • Most litter education resources consisted of some form of litter audit, which while necessary, should not be the extent of litter education
  • “Interactive” could mean something as basic as a crossword or find-a-word.

As a result of the research phase, a Waste Education Resource Index was developed.

Secondary school teachers were called upon to give their opinion of what they would like to see with regards to waste and litter education in secondary schools. Many believed this form of education was lacking in secondary schools and all wanted to see the following types of resources:

  • Online
  • Interactive games
  • Curriculum links
  • Units of work/printable lesson plans
  • Activities for students
  • Videos.

A trial resource was developed from the material identified in the Waste Education Resource Index. It included a printable lesson plan and PowerPoint presentation, and used several interactive websites and YouTube videos discovered during the research phase. Trials were carried out in five classes ranging from grade 8-10, within three schools. Students in the trials were required to fill out a pre- and post-class quiz which analysed their learning from the lesson, and were encouraged to give their feedback via a survey. Teachers who took part in the trials also provided feedback. The lessons were reviewed in light of the feedback and altered to develop the final OMG! Program.