Over the past few years, hundreds of primary schoolers have enjoyed our holiday sessions that inspire them to care for the ocean – now it’s time for the highschoolers to get in on the action.
Due to popular demand, our Marine Biologist for a Day program has been adapted to cater for an older audience who want a more in depth look at the world of marine science.
Students will have the chance to examine in detail our impact on the ocean including environmental stress on coral reef systems, water acidification and plastic pollution. We will discuss a wide range of ideas on how to better care for the health of our seas.
The aim of the program is to making learning fun and relevant, examining animal classification to discover how each creature fits into the aquatic world.
The program will be very interactive, with students observing the dissection of a dead fish to reveal the organ make-up and development of a mullet.
And our most popular feature will still be included – the chance to gently touch our living sea creatures – an opportunity that never gets old at any age!
This program will provide a valuable insight to the workings of the aquatic world for any high schooler who has a passion for the ocean or is considering a career in marine sciences.
But we haven’t forgotten the younger students – our classic Marine Biologist for a Day will still be running in school holidays – we’re just expanding the program to grow with your kids.
National Science Week is Australia’s largest celebration of science with over a million people participating in activities across the nation.
What are you planning for Science Week?
National Science Week this year is 12-20 August and provides an opportunity to encourage an interest in science pursuits and at Ocean Life Education, we just love inspiring young Australian’s to be fascinated by the natural world we live in.
This is what Science Week is all about!
Future Earth is the 2017 theme
This year, the theme for Science Week is Future Earth with a focus on Australia’s sustainability science and the issues that are unique to us.
The focus is to raise awareness of sustainability science and encourage positive actions that make a direct impact to a more sustainable future Earth
Australian Science Teachers Association
Connecting Sustainability to Science
During Science Week, there are more than 1000 events featured across the country but we prefer to make things easy for teachers, by bringing the sea to you!
Our hands-on interactive school programs are designed with direct links to the Australian Curriculum-Science and Cross-curriculum Priority of Sustainability from years P-7.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you plan for Science Week!
Clayfield College Students in Ocean Life Education program
Enhance your Science Week activities
The 2017 National Science Week teacher resource book is full of great activities on Australia’s sustainability science. Many of these activities align with our live marine animal incursions – no matter your year level, we have you covered!
Book in now for Science Week
Add a deeper dimension to student learning during this Science Week, 12-20 August and book a live marine animal incursion with Ocean Life Education.
Become a Marine Biologist for a Day and be immersed in a full day of marine science!
Our new full day program for school aged kids is perfect for those passionate about marine animals and ocean conservation.
In Marine Biologist for a Day, our aim is to educate kids with the right information based on science to create informed, future custodians of the ocean and all its wonderful creatures within it.
What you can expect:
Get up close and touch live marine creatures
Find out why animals look and feel the way they do, how they function and what their role is in the marine environment
Learn what problems humans create for them and why we need to look after them.
Learn about Sharks and the important role they play in the marine ecosystem
Understand why sharks sometimes attack humans
Touch real shark jaws
Marine Biologist for a Day will be an experience they will never forget!
Who this program is for
Marine Biologist for a Day is suitable for students in Grades 2-5. The program is limited to 25 students so they can get the best learning experience.
Parents are invited to arrive half an hour before the conclusion so they may be educated by their children, giving the kids a chance to show off the wealth of new information they have acquired. Parents will be amazed just how much their kids remember.
Sharks, shark attacks and shark nets. You’ve probably heard the conversation in the media in recent times as our nation figures out a solution to ‘protect ourselves’ from a shark encounter.
In response to a number of shark confrontations along the NSW northern beaches (including popular spots Byron Bay and Ballina) the NSW government has carried out a comprehensive review on deterrent and detection methods to improve swimmer and surfer safety.
Ocean Life Education has long now been an advocate of education for public safety in and around our waterways. What we aim to achieve in our programs like our Shark Discovery, is a deeper understanding of sharks; the safest time and places to swim and why we sometimes come into contact with sharks.
As a long-time sceptic of the effectiveness of shark nets that are reported as protecting our popular beaches, I am delighted to see that the NSW government is reviewing both deterrent and detection methods for their northern beaches, which means that shark welfare is being considered as part of their review process.
The review mostly focuses on results of the effectiveness of such methods on the Great White, Tiger and Bull Whaler sharks and includes fourteen deterrent strategies and three detection strategies.
Review of deterrent methods
Of the deterrents, four involve electric and electromagnetic nets, ropes and cables; three are barrier nets (non-entanglement nets); five are various personal devices (worn by surfers or swimmers); a bubble curtain; and the Smart Bouy system (similar to a drum line but with capability to alert when a shark is caught so it can be quickly released).
The results showed the barrier nets were most effective, however the trials for these nets were carried out in Western Australia at a relatively protected beach where wave heights never exceeded 1.5m, therefore not a great indicator for open East Australian beaches that can have six-plus meter waves. Not only that but keeping the barriers clean of fouling was another concern.
The electronic devices were problematic to other animals’ sensory abilities and also problematic to humans with heart problems who may use pacemakers. Personal devices varied in effectiveness but deemed not practical to protect great numbers of people at large beach sites. While the bubble curtain is an unobtrusive idea to humans and animals alike it wasn’t highly effective at deterring sharks.
Finally, there was the Smart Buoy which is just a baited drum line, with ability to alert it’s managers of a hook up, allowing the shark to be relocated. The problem here is using a baited hook brings sharks in and catches them, but also dolphins and turtles get caught too, plus staff managing relocation of animals need the right equipment and training to relocate effectively.
Review of detection methods
There were three detection methods trailed: shark spotter program; clever buoy; and tagging and real time tracking of tagged sharks.
The shark spotter program proved the most effective method of detection, the only problem is the shear expanse of coast line that needs to be monitored along the NSW north coast, which would incur a large expense.
Tagging and tracking sharks has been used by scientists for a long time now, it is effective in tracking sharks’ movements but not practical in being able to tag all sharks. Thus, this strategy rated low on the review.
Of great interest was research into technology such as the ‘Clever Buoy’, a collection of detector buoys, using sonar technology to detect large moving objects, which then sends a signal to a shore base to advise swimmers (for example a life guard tower). This detector method would keep swimmers safe and prevent the death of any marine life. It’s a win-win situation in my books.
The review did mention that this was in trial phase and needed tweaking, but with increasing technology improvements, this kind of protection for beaches is three to five years away and is both a good result for swimmers and the environment.
In 2017 we can say keep an eye on the future, it looks bright. It is great to see an improved environmental approach to an ongoing problem of humans living in harmony with the marine environment. If NSW adopts this technology and proves its effectiveness we hope that Queensland will follow suit.