Since 2013, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been working with students on environmental youth leadership, and we have engaged 400+ students in developing projects to address conservation challenges such as food waste, biodiversity loss and energy use.
Building on IUCN’s (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) global conservation initiative, TNC launched the Jockey Club “Ridge to Reef” Environmental Education Programme, with support from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The holistic program aims to enhance the environmental literacy of Hong Kong’s youth. Using TNC’s Learn-Act-Lead model, we are working with Hong Kong’s students, teachers and schools.
The Ridge to Reef (R2R) concept shows that what happens on land affects what happens in the water. With Hong Kong being a coastal city, healthy and well-managed waterways, coasts and oceans are vital to all of us. To create lasting change, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) R2R focuses on students’ environmental literacy, teachers’ curriculum and schools’ policies and procedures by:
- supporting all levels of the educational structure within schools
- developing localized, free online curriculum to teachers
- deploying curriculum through educator training workshops
- engaging students in hands-on citizen science conservation fieldwork, and
- offering students internship opportunities at our TNC Hong Kong/Asia Pacific regional office.
We are now developing a free online nature education curriculum that will be available to all Hong Kong teachers. Materials available on this new “learning hub” will include animations, lesson plans, virtual field trips and classroom activities for teachers to use in expanding their students’ environmental awareness. We’ll be reaching out to Hong Kong teachers to show them how to use the learning hub and to take them on local field trips so they can understand first-hand some of the environmental challenges Hong Kong is facing.
To get Hong Kong students outside and learning about conservation science, we are launching Citizen Science in Action Field Survey Experiences: TNC-led field trips for 300+ students that include data collection, as well as in-class pre- and post-field trip learning materials. These trips will also help encourage students in community volunteerism for the good of our environment. The field experiences will focus on TNC’s oyster reef restoration work and estuary and terrestrial biodiversity.
In March 2021, TNC created Ridge to Reef virtual field trip videos as supplementary materials for school sharing and pre-visit materials while waiting for face-to-face student field trips to resume. The virtual field trip videos use Deep Bay as the case study to illustrate Hong Kong’s biodiversity and the R2R concept. The videos have both long and short versions to fit into the learning and teaching needs of local and international schools.
A lucky 14 Hong Kong students will have the chance to develop hands-on conservation project design and implementation experience through internships at TNC offices and project sites. These internships can help build career pathways for participating students, as well as give the interns a chance to become conservation leaders among their peers.
Our vision is to inspire a new generation of young conservationists, equip them with relevant knowledge and skills, and take practical actions to conserve Hong Kong's ecosystem. Interested students, teachers or management in the education field are welcomed to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the Ridge to Reef program.
The Ridge to Reef Environment Education Programme (R2R) aims to enhance the environmental literacy of Hong Kong’s youth, with the use of The Nature Conservancy (TNC’s) LEARN-ACT-LEAD model, to promote the Ridge to Reef holistic conservation approach - what happens on land affects what happens in the water.
Student internship plays an important role in the LEAD component because interns can serve as ambassadors to promote the Ridge to Reef concept to their peers with student-initiated projects. From 2019 to 2021, TNC worked with eighteen students to provide training and guidance on project development, implementation, and evaluation. The students worked on a total of ten projects.
2021 Summer Intern Projects
PROMOTE RIDGE TO REEF IN SCHOOL
Students’ idea was to promote the Ridge to Reef concept in school. They first interviewed more than 30 students to understand their knowledge of environmental sustainability, R2R concepts, personal behaviors, and concerns in taking sustainable actions. Surprisingly, not all the students had heard about the R2R concepts and that was why the students designed and produced some R2R stickers, info sheets and then distribute them to their classmates, together with a mass announcement about the Ridge to Reef concept in the morning assembly.
MINI-EXHIBITION OF OYSTER REEF AND MUDFLAT ECOLOGY
Students set up a mini-exhibition in school with aquaculture debris and oyster shells from Pak Nai’s field trip and wildlife photo of the mudflat, to showcase the local biodiversity and oyster farming industry in Deep Bay. The students also acted as the ambassadors to introduce this exhibition and R2R message to all the senior forms during their biology classes.
RIDGE TO REEF POSTER
Students designed and created an educational poster to promote R2R concepts and ecosystem services to their peers. The poster was hung in their school biology lab.
2020 - 2021 Winter Intern Projects
TESTING OF USING OYSTER SHELL POWDER AS FERTILIZER
Students’ main focus was to investigate the use of oyster shells as fertilizer, as well as repurposing used oyster shells rather than being discarded into landfill sites after use in the F&B industry. The students conducted desktop research which showed that there were many potential benefits of using oyster shells as fertilizer, for example, its ability to neutralize soil acidity as well as providing nutrients because of the high calcium content. After that, they gained permission from their school officer and experimented with crushed up, reused oyster shells on potted plants in their school garden.
OYSTER CONSERVATION LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
Students designed one-week extra curriculum activities for primary school students to promote the importance of oyster reefs and their conservation. Activities included tutorials for water filtration experiments, student trips to Pak Nai, and Kahoot quizzes. Luckily the students had the chance to present their ideas, planning and research work to the School Head of Kowloon Junior School. However, with the school suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students could hardly integrate their plan into the school curriculum and they finally turned their target audiences to the public and put their preparation materials on an Instagram page instead.
2020 Summer Intern Projects
Ridge to Reef webinar and pitching competition
Students organized a two-day virtual event that attracted about 60 secondary school students from six international schools. The attendees learned about the Ridge to Reef concept and the importance of oyster reef ecosystems. They also joined a mini pitch competition by designing their own group projects with a five-minute pitch to TNC conservation staff on Ridge to Reef. Three out of the 10 teams got outstanding awards for their innovative and thoughtful ideas.
Students aged 11-16 were invited to draw and write an interesting storybook to promote the Ridge to Reef concept. The winning story was Lola & Oscar’s Adventure created by Cloe L. (story) and Tiffany Z. (illustration) of Chinese International School, and the first runner up is Oliver The Oyster by Veda L. Both stories bring out the “Ridge to Reef” concept through the journey of an oyster and cover quite a lot of ecological information.
Ridge to Reef social media campaign
Students developed a mini-website and an Instagram page to promote the Ridge to Reef concept, introduce the summer interns and promote other competitions and activities. It is estimated about 300 students have been reach through these platforms.
Ridge to Reef lesson plan
A lesson plan was developed to incorporate the Ridge to Reef concept into the international school curriculum. It has received positive feedback, and a teacher from Canadian International School promised to try the lesson plan next semester. It is expected to reach out to about 100 students when implemented.
2019 Summer Intern Projects
Students developed a mini scientific research project to study how activities on the ridge impact the condition of the reef through a quantitative study of water quality along a river system in Hong Kong.
Students conducted desktop and textbook research on the water parameters in the Tung Chung River. During two field trips to the Tung Chung River, students measured water parameters such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and pH, which were analyzed at four sites along the river from upstream to the estuary. Water samples were taken back to the International School Foundation’s laboratory for bacteria culture and study.
Are you an educator that would like to incorporate environmental conservation and/or Ridge to Reef ideas to your students? The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has developed resources and activities for primary and secondary teachers, of any subject, that love nature. These resources range from field trips (COVID-19 restrictions allowing) for student to actively engage with Hong Kong’s ecosystems to lesson plans and newsletters for teachers.
Teachers enrolled in the educator network will have priority to participate in field trips and outdoor visits, to explore wildlife in Hong Kong and new conservation initiatives, as well as having priority to apply for our activities for your students. We welcome secondary and primary school teachers of science subjects, as well as curriculum development officers and interested educators to join.
To join the educator network, contact Conservation Education Manager, Tom Chan, at email@example.com
Participating Schools as of November 2021
1. Kau Yan School
2. Lok Sin Tong Leung Wong Wai Fong Memorial School
3. Lingnan University Alumni Association (Hong Kong) Primary School
4. Ma On Shan Methodist Primary School
5. Pentecostal Yu Leung Fat Primary School
6. Po Leung Kuk Lam Man Chan English Primary School
7. Pui Kiu College (Primary School Section)
8. Sai Kung Central Lee Siu Yam Memorial School
9. Tai Po Old Market Public School (Plover Cove)
10. Tin Shui Wai Catholic Primary School
11. Yan Tak Catholic Primary School
12. Yew Chung International School (Primary Section)
13. Yuen Long Government Primary School
14. Buddhist Fat Ho Memorial College
15. Buddhist Tai Hung College
16. Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School
17. Carmel Pak U Secondary School
18. Cheung Chau Government Secondary School
19. Chiu Chow Association Secondary School
20. Chong Gene Hang College
21. Christian Nationals' Evangelism Commission Lau Wing Sang Secondary School
22. Confucius Hall Secondary School
23. Cotton Spinners Association Secondary School
24. De La Salle Secondary School New Territories
25. Delia Memorial School (Glee Path)
26. Delia Memorial School (Hip Wo)
27. Fanling Kau Yan College
28. Fukien Secondary School (Kwun Tong)
29. Heep Yunn School
30. Hong Kong Red Swastika Society Tai Po Secondary School
31. HKBU Affiliated School Wong Kam Fai Secondary and Primary School
32. HKSKH Bishop Hall Secondary School
33. HKUGA College
34. King Ling College
35. Kowloon True Light School
36. Lok Sin Tong Yu Kan Hing Secondary School
37. Ma Kam Ming Charitable Foundation Ma Ko Pan Memorial School
38. Maryknoll Convent School
39. Maryknoll Secondary School
40. Munsang College (Hong Kong Island)
41. Pentecostal Holiness Church Wing Kwong College
42. PLK Ho Yuk Ching (1984) College
43. PLK Laws Foundation College
44. PLK Lee Shing Pik College
45. Pope Paul VI College
46. Precious Blood Secondary School
47. Pui Ching Middle School
48. Sacred Heart Canossian College
49. Semple Memorial Secondary School
50. Shatin Tsung Tsin Secondary school
51. Sha Tin Methodist College
52. Shau Kei Wan Government Secondary School
53. SKH Leung Kwai Yee Secondary School
54. Stewards Pooi Kei College
55. St. Margaret Co-educational English Primary and Secondary School (Secondary School Section)
56. St. Peter's Secondary School
57. The AD & FD of POHL Leung Sing Tak College
58. The Jockey Club Eduyoung College
59. The Methodist Church Hong Kong Wesley College
60. True Light Girls College
61. Tsang Pik Shan (Sung Lan) Secondary School
62. Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School
63. Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
64. Wah Yan College, Kowloon
65. Ying Wa College
66. Ying Wa Girls' School
67. Canadian International School
68. Chinese International School
69. Hong Kong International School
70. Independent School Foundation ISF Academy (Secondary)
71. Island School
72. King George V School
73. South Island School
Ridge to Reef Lesson Plans
(for junior secondary classes)
Geography Lesson Plan A
“Ocean and Sustainable Development”. Related topic: Unit 8 Oceans in Trouble // SDG12 and SDG14 DOWNLOAD
Geography Lesson Plan B
“Ridge to Reef”. Related topic: Unit 4 The trouble with Water // SDG6 and SDG11 DOWNLOAD
“Hong Kong Local Oyster Industry and Ridge to Reef”. Related topics: Topic 4: History, Culture and Heritage of Early Hong Kong region and Topic 12: The Growth and Transformation of Hong Kong in the 20th Century // SDG11 and SDG12 DOWNLOAD
Integrated Science & Biology
“Oyster and Ridge to Reef”. Related topic: Unit 2 Water and Unit 3 Looking at Living Things // SDG14 DOWNLOAD
TNC appreciates the valuable support and advice from the scholars, teachers and students during the Ridge to Reef lesson plan development:
Dr. Sally Wan, Brian Chan, Chu Yin Ting, Emily Chan Yan Ling, Henry Tsui, Ho Tin Lai, Ip Cho Kiu, Kwok Hiu Lam, Lam Choi Ying, Leung Shong Tung, Moses Wong, Sam Fan Chun Wing, Steven Mak Ho Wang, Yu Wai Ching