Category Archives: Marine Education

How to Inspire Students to Protect the Ocean in 2021

 

As environmental concerns gain increasing attention in the media, it is our responsibility to engage and educate children to ensure that they understand why the ocean is so important to us all and to inspire them to want to protect it. In the words of oceans’ pioneer Jacques Cousteau, “People protect what they love”.

So, here’s our pick of the key ocean events that we think will inspire students of all ages to want to protect the ocean in 2021.

 

SeaWeek Australia: 6 – 14 March 2021

2021 theme: The Ocean and Humans are Inextricably Interconnected

SeaWeek Australia is an annual major public awareness campaign which aims to educate and encourage appreciation of the sea. SeaWeek is a great opportunity to increase focus on the deeply woven relationship we have with the ocean and how our survival is underpinned by the health of our oceans.

Involve your school:          www.aaee.org.au/events/seaweek

More info:          www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/celebrate-seaweek-australia/

 

World Oceans Day: 8 June 2021

2021 theme: The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods

World Oceans Day 2021 is on a mission to deepen understanding of our relationship with the ocean and inspire action to protect it. This year the focus is on how the ocean is our life-source and supports humanity and every other organism on Earth. The focus is on key issues such as plastic pollution, rising water temperatures, overfishing, sewage dumps and other factors impacting the ocean’s ability to thrive as it should.

Involve your school:          worldoceanday.school

 

 World Whale Day: 20 February 2021

World Whale Day began in 1980 in Maui, Hawaii. It’s all about reminding us of the challenges whales face oceans across the globe. Observed annually on the third Sunday in February, World Whale Day celebrates everything about whales.

Involve your school:          www.wilderness.org.au/happy-world-whale-day

 

More info: https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/annual-humpback-whale-migration-east-coast-australia/

 

World Sea Turtle Day: 16 June 2021

World Sea Turtle Day is celebrated on 16 June annually as it is the birthday of Dr. Archie Carr, the so-called “father of sea turtle biology.”  His research highlighted the plight of sea turtles and drove community support to protect them and celebrate them annually on World Sea Turtle Day.

 

 

Involve your school:          conserveturtles.org/june-16th-is-world-sea-turtle-day/

 

Shark Awareness Day: 14 July 2021

Sharks get a huge amount of bad press, yet on average one person is killed by a shark in Australia each year and heaps more are killed by horses and cows!! Without sharks in Australian waters, many ecosystems would not be sustainable, and we would be denied the pleasure of exploring amazing underwater habitats such as the world’s largest natural wonder, Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. The impact on tourism and economies would be huge. Shark Awareness Day aims to separate fact from myth and promote a positive image for these amazing creatures.

Involve your school:          www.sharktrust.org/blog/shark-awareness-day

More info: https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/ultimate-sharks-facts/

 

Check out our Annual Events Calendar for even more great reasons to celebrate the ocean in 2021.

 

 

Lock in the Dates!

Remember to lock in the dates and get planning so you can make the most of these ocean celebrations at your school. Little ripples make big waves!

Bring Learning to Life With A Live Marine Animal Program

Why not book in an Ocean Life Education program to compliment your teaching and bring it all to life. All programs are delivered by qualified Marine Educators with a passion for the ocean. They provide a lively, fun, and interactive experience with our live marine animals and are designed to educate and inspire schools and community to protect our precious marine environment.

Bringing Nature into the Classroom

 

“Bringing nature into the classroom can kindle a fascination and passion for the diversity of life on earth and motivate a sense of responsibility to safeguard it”,

Sir David Attenborough.

 

Ocean Life Education’s Director of Education, Richard Coward, is a firm believer that education is the key to protecting the ocean. So, Richard has spent the past 14 years visiting schools, early learning centres and community events, passionately educating and inspiring young minds to feel a responsibility to protect the our seas.

“Our goal is to educate Australians about how our lives are interconnected with our oceans and to inspire them to feel a responsibility to take action to protect them”, Richard Coward, Director of Education, Ocean Life Education.

 

A Passion for Protecting the Ocean

Ocean Life Education was set up in 2006 by Director of Education and Marine Biologist, Richard Coward. Richard studied Marine Ecology at Queensland’s Griffith University and commenced his career running Sunshine Coast’s Underwater World education programs and was later promoted to Curator of Fishes.

Richard went on to work on the creation of a new aquarium in South Korea. Whilst diving in the ocean, he was astonished by the complete lack of marine life. This was the first time he had experienced first-hand the devastating consequences of human impact caused by over-fishing. This education inspired him to take action. Richard saw this as a wakeup call and was determined this was not going to be allowed to happen in Australia. Thus, his passion for protecting the ocean was born.

Richard’s career went off down many paths: managing exhibits in aquariums worldwide and working with sharks, seals, penguins, turtles, sea jellies, fish, octopus, and invertebrates, to name a few.  He has been involved in research projects and breeding programs as well as whale rescue and his knowledge has frequently been reported on television, including a whole feature on the Totally Wild television show. Throughout all this, promoting conservation has always been at the heart of what he does.

 

Taking the Ocean into the Classroom

Richard soon realised that educating future generations was the key to them understanding why the ocean is so important to us and inspiring them to take action to protect it. “You protect what you love”, he quotes.

But many children were unable to get to the ocean or even to an aquarium to experience ocean life first-hand, so the idea of taking the ocean to the classroom was hatched and Ocean Life Education was born.

 

Our Programs & Marine Educators

Since 2006, Ocean Life Education has promoted the protection of our oceans to hundreds and thousands of Australians throughout Queensland and New South Wales. Our aim is to bring the sea to the community or classroom.  Marine educators arrive with live marine animals, fascinating artefacts, games and resources and students get a hands-on experience interacting with the animals. They hopefully finish off knowledgeable and inspired to want to protect the ocean and passionate to tell their friends and families why they should do the same.

                       

Our Programs

Early Learning – Ocean Discovery Program https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/early-learning/

Primary – Curriculum based and tailored themes and activities https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/primary-schools/

Holiday Programs (OSHC) – Human Impact, Sharks, Weird & Wonderful https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/holiday-program/

High School – Curriculum based and tailored themes and activities https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/high-school/

Events – live marine displays, beach walks, lectures, workshops (tailored to requirement) https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/events/

 

Further reading

For more information about what we can all do to protect the ocean, check out our blog:

https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/how-can-i-protect-the-ocean/

 

Hope to see you soon!

 

Ocean Habitats

Oceans support an immense diversity of life and ecosystems. From warm tropical waters of the Caribbean to the freezing polar regions (and from zooplankton to blue whales!) a staggering range of animals, plants and other life forms call the ocean their home. These ocean, or marine habitats, provide everything needed for survival – food, shelter, water and oxygen.

Types of Marine Habitat

Marine habitats are divided into two main zones – coastal habitats and open ocean habitats. Within these habitats there are numerous sub habitats.

Coastal Habitats

Coastal HabitatsThe coastal habitat is the region from the shoreline out to the continental shelf. Most marine creatures live in coastal habitat, although it only makes up seven percent of the ocean. Coastal habitats include intertidal zones (constantly exposed and covered by the ocean’s tides), rocky shore, mangrove, mudflats, estuaries, kelp forest, sea grass, sandy shores/beach and coral reefs

 

Open Ocean Habitats

Open Ocean HabitatsOpen Ocean Habitats are found beyond the continental shelf, this is the deep ocean. Open ocean habitats are divided into layers which include surface waters, the deep sea, and the ocean floor. It is estimated that about 10 percent of marine species live in the open ocean. They tend to be the largest and fastest, such as whales and sharks, or fish that swim in schools. Tiny marine life, such as plankton, also inhabit this zone.

 

Queensland’s Marine Habitats

Habitats ReefQueensland’s stunning coastline comprises a wide range of marine habitats. These include sandy and rocky shores, mangrove, and coral reef; with the largest reef of all, The Great Barrier Reef, located just off Queensland’s coast.

For more information on Queensland’s marine habitats, check out Ocean Life Education’s NEW Habitats video presented by our owner and Senior Marine Biologist, Richard Coward. Habitats video

For Habitats themed incursions, go to our Primary programs & resources

 

Amazing Shark Facts Quiz

Sharks Facts Quiz

Check out our Amazing Shark Facts Quiz and discover how much you really know about JAWSOME SHARKS…

 

 Questions

  • 1. What is the largest species of shark?
  • 2. What are baby sharks are called?
  • 3. What are shark bones made of?
  • 4. Up to how many teeth do sharks have? 100s, 1,000s or 10,000s?
  • 5. Is shark skin smooth or rough?
  • 6. What is the collective noun for a shark?
  • 7. What is the fastest shark in the ocean?
  • 8. What is the smallest species of shark in the ocean?
  • 9. Do sharks have eyelids?
  • 10. Can sharks see in colour?
  • 11. Approximately how many species of shark can be found around Australia?
  • 12. How many sharks are killed by humans every year?
  • 13. On average, how many people are killed by sharks in Australia each year?
  • 14. Name three species of shark commonly found off Australia
  • 15. Do sharks lay eggs or give birth to live young?
  • 16. What are mermaid’s purses?
  • 17. Which common shark lives in fresh and salt water?
  • 18. From what distance can sharks detect blood?
  • 19. From what distance can sharks sense vibration?
  • 20. Do all sharks need to keep moving to breath?

 

 

 

Answers

  • 1. The largest species of shark is the whale shark
  • 2. Baby sharks are called pups
  • 3. Shark bones are made of cartilage
  • 4. Many sharks have multiple rows of sharp teeth – they can grow up to 35,000 in a lifetime
  • 5. Rough – shark skin feels like sandpaper
  • 6. The collective noun for a shark is a Shiver (or School, Shoal)
  • 7. The fastest shark in the ocean is the Shortfin Mako Shark (up to 74k an hour)
  • 8. The smallest species of shark is the Dwarf Lantern Shark (smaller than an adult human hand)
  • 9. Yes – sharks do have eyelids but they don’t blink
  • 10. No – sharks do not see in colour
  • 11. Approximately 180 species of shark can be found around Australia
  • 12. 100 million sharks die each year 🙁
  • 13. 1 person on average each year 🙁
  • 14. Sharks commonly found off Australia…Great White, Port Jackson, Thresher, Zebra Shark, Tiger Shark, Tasselled Wobbegong, Whale Shark, Oceanic Whitetip, Blacktip Reef, Grey Nurse, Bull Shark, Bronze Whaler, Great Hammerhead, Blind Shark, Pygmy Shark
  • 15. Some sharks lay eggs (oviparous) others give birth to live young  (viviparous), and some are a combination of these two, they start life inside their mother as an egg, hatch inside her and then are born live (ovoviviparous)
  • 16. Shark eggs – egg laying sharks lay egg cases known as mermaid’s purses
  • 17. Bull Shark
  • 18. Sharks are able to detect blood from 5 km
  • 19. Sharks can sense vibrations from 3 kilometres away
  • 20. No. Some sharks must swim constantly in order to get oxygen-rich water flowing over their gills but others pump water through their respiratory system.

 

How did you go? If you know any amazing shark facts, please post or email them to us and you’ll get a mention! info@oceanlifeeducation.com.au

 

Take Action to Protect Amazing Sharks

  • Educate yourself and your friends
  • Share your love of sharks on your social media channels
  • Join a volunteer shark conservation organisation like sharkconservationorg.au, marineconservation.org.au, seashepherd.com.au (make a donation if you can)
  • Join a beach clean or just clean as you go!
  • Buy sustainable seafood and check restaurants have done so. Avoid flake at the Fish & Chip shop as it may be endangered shark
  • Ask politicians to support ocean acidification research

Ocean Life Education is passionate about protecting all marine animals and focusing on the important role sharks play in our oceans.  We aim to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the most feared fish in the sea.

Check out our Shark Discovery Program for more information on how to inspire kids to love and respect sharks: www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/holiday-program/

Want to know more about sharks?

online shark course

Check out our Amazing Sharks Online Sharks Course