MAKASSAR, SOUTH SULAWESI– Students from grade IV at SDN Kompleks IKIP I Makassar, some time ago, studied at the Center for Environmental Education (PPLH) in Puntondo, Takalar, which develops educational programs about marine and coastal ecosystems.
The aim of this study during the social studies (IPS) class was to learn about various types of economic activity and the diversity of natural resources and to write a report during the Indonesian language lesson.
Before setting off to the PPLH in Takalar, the students had prepared a variety of questions concerning the life of coastal fishing communities to generate material for their reports. Once at the PPLH, the students tried to collect as much data as possible.
Accompanied by staff from the PPLH, they interviewed seaweed farmers on methods used in seaweed cultivation, harvesting, and marketing. Students also received information about how the cultivation of seaweed could reduce the fishing habits of fishermen that are destructive to the environment, especially the use of explosives and cyanide. They also interviewed fishermen to find out about their daily lives.
Once the data were collected, the students prepared a report as part of their homework making sure to write in the systematic way used in scientific papers as they had been taught in school. A week later, they made a presentation on their visit to the PPLH. Three representatives of each group took it in turns to give these presentations: these consisted of a moderator who led the discussion, one person who gave a presentation using a power point, and another who operated the computer.
One of the groups made a presentation on seaweed cultivation. According to their findings, seaweed is cleaned using fresh water, "So that the taste of salt water is removed," said the group.
A student from another group responded critically, "But the seaweed smelled kind of fishy even though it had been cleaned freshwater. How can we get rid of the smell?" he asked eagerly. The question and answer session was exciting. The speakers were bombarded with questions from the participants—the students themselves—in the discussions. They wanted to know and compare the data they had collected and what they had heard in the interviews they conducted.