Posted on June 08, 2015

Doha College primary and secondary students have learnt ways they can help protect Qatar’s precious environment as part of World Environment Day. Geography teacher Ms Naomi Capewell, who co-leads Doha College’s Environmental Schools Club, said secondary students from Years 7 to 10 studied a special environmentally focused curriculum across all subject areas.

“This year, World Environment Day encouraged people to ‘do more with less’ because based on our current consumption and production patterns we will outstrip the earth’s capacity to provide for us within 50 years,” Ms Capewell said. “As such, Doha College students looked at issues relevant to balancing development and environmental protection, such as energy, water and waste minimisation,” she said. “Doha College always aims to instil a ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ ethos and prepare our students to be environmentally and ecologically aware.”

Ms Capewell said Doha College used the Day to raise funds and awareness of their school environmental programmes by encouraging students to swap their uniforms for something green. “Many staff and students also opted for sustainable transport to school, including walking, cycling or car-pooling,” Ms Capewell said. “It was encouraging to see students and staff so motivated and engaged about environmental issues and action.”

Science and Maths students looked at applying various mathematical techniques to environmental issues. In science, Doha College’s subject Head of Chemistry Ms Kate Flower, said students examined alternative uses for plastic bottles, the efficiency of solar panels and renewable energy, and water quality. “Year 10 stepped into the shoes of an environmental scientist to analyse water samples for pH and dissolved anions,” Ms Flower said. “Year 8 investigated the efficiency of solar panels and their use as a renewable energy source,” she said. “Year 7 looked at the importance of reusing plastic water bottles then seeing what fun, imaginative, alternative uses they can find for the plastic.”

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Year 7 Mathematic students studied ratio and proportion by pretending the world was made up of just 100 people. Year 8 Mathematic students used percentages to look at their carbon footprint, Year 9 did a statistical analysis of the use of water and Year 10 used surface area and volume to design an eco-friendly package. In Primary School, the students created plant pots from recycled plastic bottles which will be made into a hanging garden for the Primary campus. 

The Doha College Environmental Schools Club is led by Geography and history teachers Mr Brian Kerr, Ms Naomi Capewell in secondary and by Ms Seana Gallagher in Primary. The Eco School Committee has 24 Environment Captains, representing each form group in Years 7 – 10. The committee meet once per month to discuss a range of environmental issues affecting the school, and strategies for improvement. This is the group’s inaugural year and so far they have facilitated several initiatives, such as Earth Hour and the Earth Cup Challenge.

Quick World Environment Day facts:

  • 2015 World Environment Day theme was Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care
  • By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.
  • Man is polluting water faster than nature can recycle and purify water in rivers and lakes.
  • 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year while almost 1 billion people go undernourished and another 1 billion hungry.
  • 1.5 billion people globally are overweight or obese.
  • Land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, overfishing and marine environment degradation are all lessening the ability of the natural resource base to supply food.