Eco-Cubby is a program developed by Regional Arts Victoria in conjunction with the City of Melbourne, in which schools work with a local building designer or architect and a project coordinator in the development of an Eco-Cubby project. Projects focus on the process, identification and understanding of issues raised through the development of a sustainable living environment.
Darren worked with the woodwork teacher at Napoleons primary School (south of Ballarat), to deliver a the program to a group of kids from various year levels. Starting with the basic principles of building sustainability, Darren delivered a program that included some (fun) theory, design sessions, and construction of models. The kids all presented their individual designs to the class to discuss the particular sustainability features. They caught on quickly!
Later a class model was constructed to a collaborative design, which included a curved roof orientated north for solar gain, shading, and recycled materials. Other features included a food garden and chook run. One student designed a mechanism for extracting fresh water from waste water, and another designed a bicycle powered water pump to transfer rainwater to a tank at the veggie patch... they are bound to become engineers!
It was hoped that the Eco-Cubby would be built for real on the school grounds. It was intended that it would be positioned near the existing veggie garden and be used by the kids for propagation and anything else that they felt appropriate. Sadly red tape and lack of funding prevented most projects from eventuating. Working with the kids at Napoleons Primary was both fun and enlightening.