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PRESS RELEASE GENERAL INFORMATION

CD-ROM HELPS CHILDREN REDUCE, RE-USE, RECYCLE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Melbourne, Vic and London, UK (November 11 1999)
All 25,000 primary schools in the UK are being offered a free CD-ROM that teaches children to be more concerned for the environment as part of a worldwide education programme.

Developed in Australia, where it has won wide acclaim, since introduced in parts of North America and shortly to be distributed in the Far East, the CD-ROM features the adventures of a 10 year-old cartoon character, Ollie, whose local park is threatened by a proposed landfill site.

Through the use of highly innovative animation, games and puzzles, the CD-ROM teaches five to 11 year-olds how to reduce, re-use and recycle waste material from school and home, rather than consign it to landfill. Titled 'Ollie Recycles', the interactive environmental educational programme has been adapted to meet the primary school curriculum with the assistance of the Centre for Education & Industry, University of Warwick, who spent a year working alongside an industry-wide team of companies and voluntary bodies who are supporting the project.

Ollie Recycles' provides a range of learning opportunities that support the curriculum at Key Stage 2.  In teaching children about environmental issues it helps develop literacy, numeracy and computer skills and also helps raise attainment in such subjects as geography, science and design and technology.

Set in a fictitious community, the CD-ROM adventure has been designed so that children may select individual elements of the story for their own education and amusement. Reduce, re-use, recycle is the overall message, with the CD-ROM providing a comprehensive guide - from straightforward recycling of glass, cans, paper, clothing and plastics to composting and how to build a worm bin.

Local landmarks such as the school, Ollie's house, the supermarket or civic amenity site, feature animated sequences which depict part of the overall story. As the cursor is rolled over each scene, objects or people spring to life with Larry, the school caretaker, acting as narrator and on-screen assistant.

One section of the CD-ROM shows how products are manufactured from recycled materials, while another is devoted to a quiz that enables children to test the knowledge they have acquired.  Multiple choice questions prompt 'applause' from on-screen characters when the pupil answers correctly and offer help if an incorrect answer is given. Crosswords, word search games and other puzzles complete this activity, with more available on the web site.

The UK version of 'Ollie Recycles' is being funded through the landfill tax credit scheme by UK Waste and managed by Groundwork.  Other financial support has come from Aylesford Newsprint, British Glass, British Steel Packaging Recycling Unit and RECOUP, all of whom have been involved in the adaptation of the CD-ROM to reflect local conditions and give it a UK 'feel'.

The UK 'Ollie Recycles' web site (http://www.ollierecycles.com/uk/)  which may be accessed by a direct hyperlink from the CD-ROM, features extensive information about the environmental 3R's for students, together with games and competitions. The site also has teachers' notes, including suggested classroom projects and other activities which may be downloaded for school use.

"Ollie Recycles presents a unique opportunity for pupils to learn how they can make a real difference in reducing the amount of waste produced each year in this country," says Steve Stillwell, regional director for the Centre for Education and Industry, Warwick University. 

"In addition to making it relevant to the curriculum in the UK, this version of the

CD-ROM reflects the feedback from Australian teachers and pupils while the programme has been in circulation there. With the wealth of class room activities in Ollie that support all aspects of teaching and learning, I have no doubt that teachers will find it a powerful tool in delivering key aspects of the curriculum, thereby helping  raise pupil achievement."

 

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