Springwood High School and 2hot2learn

December 07, 2020


I want to recognise the students of Springwood High School in the Blue Mountains in my electorate of Macquarie who are fighting for a fair go when it comes to a safe, healthy and cool environment with their 2hot2learn campaign. You might have seen them on the ABC TV's Big Weather. These were the kids sweating it out in 37.7 degree classrooms to show the impact of heat on brain function. Members of this place don't know how close they came to having the same experience, interrupted only by COVID. The producers of the show spoke with me earlier in the year, wanting to simulate the high temperatures so we could feel for ourselves how difficult it is to be clear and efficient thinkers in that sort of heat. Instead, the students—including spokespeople Ian Tjoelker and Laila Chesterman—bore the brunt of the experiment. They'd already done testing in their school when they missed out on being eligible for the NSW government's air conditioning program. They placed monitors in 16 locations around the school last summer, taking 87 days of data. Indoor temperatures peaked above 30 degrees on a third of the days, and the maximum classroom temperature was 37.7 degrees.

The students are still waiting to hear back from Dan Tehan, the Minister for Education, and COAG about what action will come as a result of their appeals. They want to see serious action on air conditioning and also serious action on climate change so future students don't have to go through this.