Tag Archives: education for sustainability

School’s in for Marine Life Lovers

Education Innovator Sir Ken Robinson recently noted: “A great teacher obviously knows their material, but the real skill is engaging them in the material, getting them excited and curious, and firing up their imaginations.”

And that’s where we come in!

Ocean Life Education delivers fun marine education incursions, where students are given the opportunity to interact with a variety of live marine creatures.

Our programs are all closely aligned with the Australian National Curriculum, delivering lessons across a broad range of topics including animal habitats, adaptations and classification.

Through carefully controlled contact, children learn why animals’ look and feel the way they do, how their bodies function, what their individual roles are in their environment and therefore why we need to look after them.

Responding to interactive learning

We understand all children are different and absorb information in different ways.

As passionate educators ourselves, the staff at Ocean Life Education value the importance of connecting students with their subject and showing them that science is a living, breathing part of their world.

Children respond extremely well to having real animals at their fingertips – this one-on-one experience provides a greater depth of understanding which leads to the desire to protect them.

Choose a program that suits current unit themes

What better way to understand Life Cycles, than to see one of our baby sharks at close quarters and observe the eggs they hatched from and note the often significant differences from their adult version?

We will tailor our programs to your classrooms’ current unit theme for all levels of school learning.

Leaders in environmental education

Ocean Life Education is proud to be involved in educating tomorrow’s leaders in environmental awareness and protection.

Our hope is to imprint in every Australian a sense of ownership and protectiveness of our marine environment, and together we will lead the world in the changes necessary for a healthy planet.

What to expect:

  • Linked to the Australian National Curriculum
  • Qualified and experienced Marine Educators
  • Live Marine Animal Interaction Blue linckia seastars, thorny seastars, black sea cucumber, tropical sea cucumber, sea urchins, fresh water turtle and baby bamboo shark 
  • Shark jaws, shells and fascinating artefacts in activity area
  • FREE colourful bookmark to take home!
  • FREE risk assessment
  • FREE coming to visit poster
  • FREE thorough supporting information, videos and blogs

What teachers think:

“ONE OF THE BEST INCURSIONS I HAVE EVER SEEN – KEEN, INTERESTING PRESENTERS WHO ARE TRULY PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR SUBJECT!” Jasmine Molineux, Patricks Road State School, (Year 2) 2018

For more information, visit our School Programs page or Contact Us to request a program outline for your year level.

 

The Cost of Christmas

“Tis the season for excitement and excess… and while our waist lines and bank balances may bear the brunt of our festive good cheer, the oceans suffer too.

Every year Australians spend more than $16 billion celebrating Christmas (which is almost $1,000 per adult!) – half of that goes on gifts.

The vast majority of presents come shrouded in plastic –  the enemy of all things marine.

In Britain alone, 125,000 tonnes of packaging is purchased at Christmas – multiply that by all the other countries who have also bought into the December consumer frenzy and that’s a whole lot of waste that needs to be dealt with.

When it comes to gifts, ideally we should embrace the idea of experiences over physical items – a ticket to a Marine Biologist for a Day Program run by Ocean Life Education will be remembered long after the holidays have passed!

Likewise, donating to your favourite charity – be it humanitarian or conservation will help improve the balance on this planet.

But if products need to be bought, how the packaging is disposed of becomes paramount – artificial floating debris gets ingested by curious marine life making it the scourge of the sea.

Most plastics and cardboard can be recycled – but not the polystyrene foam often used to protect electronic presents.

The paper the gift comes wrapped in also takes a massive toll on nature – it’s estimated 50,000 trees are harvested every year in Australia just to produce the colourful embellishment that is ripped and discarded within seconds of reaching its recipients.

Paper is a preferable choice to foil but a better option is to use homemade wrapping created from recycled material or reusable presentation boxes.

Batteries too have become a major headache for the environment – 8,000 tonnes of them are thrown away in Australia every year.  Switching to rechargeable options has a third less impact on the planet.

Ocean Life Education has a range of programs that help to inform people of all ages about ways to be more mindful of our footprint on earth – our mobile aquarium can come to you for all sorts of occasions, giving the gift of interacting with our beautiful marine animals.

Being conservation minded in the festive season is not about sucking the joy out of Christmas – it’s about finding a way to celebrate that doesn’t cost the earth it’s future.

Why we use live marine animals in educating children

Photo: Kids In Action Sunshine Coast, 2014

Photo: Kids In Action Sunshine Coast, 2014

Every so often teachers say to us, “I’m not sure about using live marine animals in our incursions, isn’t it better to leave them in their natural environment?”

It’s a common moral question I’m sure we have all asked ourselves before.

The short answer is yes, animals should be in their natural environments. What I also like to ask in response to this question is “how do we inspire young Australians to appreciate the living environment if they have never come into contact with it?”

Ocean Life Education was built upon the principles of respect for the environment, respect for its animals and a belief that education and understanding will honour the first two.

As a Marine Ecologist with a passion for the ocean and an avid diver and sailor, my family and I spend our leisure time at the beach or out on the ocean. When we holiday, we holiday at places that showcase the natural wonder of our oceans so our children grow up having this same love and respect for the natural environment.

We created Ocean Life Education in 2006, so we could lead the world in the changes necessary for a healthy planet. To realise this vision, we knew we would need to create a sense of ownership and protectiveness of our oceans in the students and children we teach.

Live marine animals in Education for Sustainability

Our programs are based upon the principles of Education for Sustainability.

The EfS theory “goes beyond providing information about the environment. It is a process which motivates and engages people in creating sustainable futures…” (ARIES).

Through our interactive educational programs, children learn why animals’ look and feel the way they do, how their bodies function, what their individual role is in their environment and therefore why we need to look after them.

This is how we fulfil our EfS role in engaging and equipping students for positive change that will last a lifetime.

Regulated industry and legislation

At Ocean Life Education, we are committed to animal welfare, care and sustainability. We abide by the relevant legislation such as the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 and the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Our animals are sourced from world leading suppliers of sustainably collected marine specimens to ensure the safety and protection of the environment.

urchin on hand

Sea Urchin, one of the live marine animals used in the Ocean Life Education programs

Managed handling

We are dedicated to the welfare of our marine animals while in our protection and during our programs.

Our strict ‘1 finger touch’ policy helps us to maintain a positively controlled learning environment for the children and the animals. We ask young children to say and use our care for animal catch phrase “stroking not poking”.

How we use animals in our programs

Want to see what it’s like when we visit your classroom with our animals? Watch this short video when Ten’s Totally Wild joined us on a school visit.

Still want to know more? Read our Frequently Asked Questions.

If you still have questions, we’d be happy to answer them. Phone us on 07 5443 8545.