Whanganui Girl's College will host the city's first environmental education expo next month, with an aim to teach children about "innovation, inquiry and curiosity, community and participation, and ecological sustainability".

E3 event coordinator Claire Dowsett said there would be an emphasis on teachers being provided the necessary tools they need to educate youth on environmental issues.

"It's easy to provide information to kids, and the environment is such a fundamental part of the future of our country as a whole," she said.

"Our focus is on children aged between 9 to 14.


"Kids in this age bracket especially seem to latch onto new ideas and soak up information really well."

Keynote speaker at the event is 18-year-old climate change activist Sophie Handford, from the Kapiti Coast, who recently became the youngest elected district councillor in New Zealand.

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Council waste officer Stuart Hylton said having a younger speaker like Handford was exactly what the expo needed.

"Sophie is a great example of someone who has taken the pathway from being interested in environmental issues to really getting into things like youth councils and being a voice in local government decision making.

"Hopefully other young people can follow her example and becomes leaders in the environmental field."

Dowsett said the expo would be split into two parts.

"Workshops and stalls will be available to teachers and students throughout regular school hours.


"The afternoon schedule will give teachers and educators a chance to mingle and speak one on one."

Dowsett said the national school curriculum now included resources directly addressing climate change. The Ministry of Education will present a resource called "Climate change - prepare today, live well tomorrow" at 4pm in the afternoon.

Stallholders include the Kiwi Conservation Club, Sustainable Whanganui, Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre, Wildbase Recovery Centre, and Sustainable Coastlines NZ.

Workshops will feature Whanganui Girls College making recycled rubbish bags, Sargeant Gallery making badges, and Whanganui Museum making natural and upcycled toys.

Dowsett hopes the expo will become a yearly event, or at the very least a biennial one.

• The E3 expo is on Friday, April 3, from 9am to 5.30pm. Registration is encouraged before March 27, for catering purposes.