A new Cotton Australia resource has been launched for Australian classrooms that promises a rich hub of information and clear connections from cotton to curriculum outcomes in science, geography, agriculture, textiles, careers, business and more.
The Cotton Education Kit is a comprehensive digital platform that maps the information to the Australian Curriculum for Years 7-10 and to Years 11-12 in relevant curriculums from all states and territories.
Cotton Australia Education Coordinator Jenny Hughes said the new kit was driven by demand from teachers and their students. “Thousands of Australian school children and their teachers have already benefitted from our education resources but the demand for more information about our world-leading natural fibre was strong.
“Over the past 12 months I have worked with all sectors of the cotton industry to double the content in the kit, more closely align the modules to curriculum outcomes and include virtual reality, audio visual and digital technologies to ensure high engagement levels.”
The new digital resource kit, which complements the Cotton Australia’s Cotton Classroom resources, includes ten chapters which can be downloaded for free, providing ideas for incorporating cotton contexts in the classroom, teaching resources, and information for student research or projects.
Cotton Australia General Manager Operations Michael Murray said the new kit is another example of the excellent outcomes achieved through effective engagement with young Australians.
“Jenny has done a great job of connecting classrooms to cotton with cutting-edge content, Teach the Teacher events and immersive student displays and information sessions.
“The benefits of a cotton education for Australian children can’t be overestimated. In many rural and regional communities, cotton is an economic driving force, yet surveys tell us that two-thirds of students don’t know that cotton, as a natural plant fibre, is used to make denim jeans. (*)
“Our sustainable and ethical farming practices produce some of the world’s best cotton, yet many secondary schoolaged children are unaware of the industry’s economic impact on our nations GDP or the local communities where cotton is grown. When we inform them that Australian growers produce enough cotton to clothe 375 million people annually, they gain some idea of the importance of what we do,” said Mr Murray.
The Australian cotton industry, which generates around $2 billion for the economy, includes numerous elements that intersect with traditional lessons taught in classrooms, making the subject adaptable and relevant to just about any student or subject.
There are up to 1,500 cotton farms in Australia with the main production areas being central and southern Queensland, northern, central and southern NSW, northern Victoria and small areas of northern Queensland, northern Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Australian cotton is now in demand around the world because of its high quality and the ethical and sustainable practices farmers employ to grow their environmentally friendly crops. Producing a bale of Australian cotton now requires 48% less water, 34% less land, and 97% less insecticides than in 1992.