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Lent Challenges on the Bennies App

A student-driven Lent challenge at Mount St Benedict College has focused the College community on the theme of sustainability in its year of Stewardship.

The initiative, led by the Year 9 Ministry Class and their teacher, Mr Paul Lentern, Assistant Principal Dean of Mission, aimed to set a daily challenge during Lent that was achievable.

Using the Carbon Fast Calendar as the basis for the challenge, the class were keen that the College community becomes more mindful of their impact on the environment throughout Lent. However, for the challenges to be embraced by teenagers, they identified that the challenges would need to be specifically tailored and easily accessed for this age group.

Working together in smaller groups, each team rose to the task of developing ten sustainability challenges geared to teenagers. The responses were collated, and a final list of 40 challenges agreed upon.

The class identified that delivery via technology was the key to success for teenagers and set about liaising with Mr Stewart Duncan, the College’s Head of IT to incorporate the challenges into the Student College App. From this idea a new category within the app was developed – MY CHALLENGES. Students could access the app each day for their new challenge and update the app when they achieved it. The challenges were also on display on the digital screens throughout the College.

Knowing that teenagers are incentive driven, the Year 9 Ministry Class were also able to link when a student achieved a challenge with house points.

Year 9 student, Angelina Wehbe said that the class was very proud of their first initiative, “It was our first task as a Ministry Class and to see it successful and in action has helped us realise that we really can impact the community with our work.

Originally the Carbon Fast Calendar we used during the research process was directed towards adults, and so what I think made this project successful was the fact that our challenges were modified to relate to teenagers. We also had a reward for completing a challenge, and that also inspired some competition between the house groups.

My favourite challenge was thinking about what you want before you open the fridge. It has made me think how much energy I use with small tasks.”

Bennies Sustainability Challenge

1. Switch your phone to power saving mode

2. Turn off the light when you leave the room

3. Make a lunch with no disposable packaging

4. Have a day without eating meat, chicken or fish

5. Plant something you can eat – vegetable, herb etc

6. Unplug the charger when the device is fully charged

7. Have a conversation at home about reducing, reusing and recycling

8. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth

9. Recycle something you would normally throw in the rubbish

10. Swap a car ride for a trip on a bus or train