Tag Archives: ocean

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!

 

How to Celebrate SeaWeek Australia

What is SeaWeek Australia?

SeaWeek Australia is an annual celebration of the sea. It is a major public awareness campaign which aims to educate and encourage appreciation of the sea. For us at Ocean Life Education, SeaWeek Australia is the busiest time of the year and a great opportunity to further increase school and community focus on the deeply woven relationship we have with our majestic ocean and how our survival is underpinned by the health of our oceans.

Check out the foot of our blog for ideas of how you can celebrate SeaWeek.

SeaWeek 2020, 12-18 September

SeaWeek 2020 focused on the theme that “The Ocean Supports A Great Diversity of Life and Ecosystems”.

Our oceans support most life on earth. As over 70% of the Earth’s surface is underwater, it comes as no surprise that marine species outnumber those on land – an incredible 94 per cent of the Earth’s living species exist within the oceans.

Being an enormous island, Australia has one of the largest ocean territories in the world. Australian Oceans support an immense diversity of life and ecosystems. From the warm waters of tropical Queensland, to the cool Tasman Sea, a staggering range of animals, plants and other life forms call our oceans their home.

And it is not just marine life that is supported by the ocean, we humans depend on our oceans too! On average, we each consume around 25 kilograms of seafood every year, so we rely on it for our food and for economic benefit and jobs. If that’s not enough, we also rely on the ocean for: oxygen, carbon dioxide absorption, climate regulation, breakdown and removal of waste, marine transportation, medicine, tourism, recreation, and fun. The list goes on!

Check out our Blog  ‘Ten Reasons Why We Depend on Our Oceans’ for more details.

When is SeaWeek Australia 2021?

SeaWeek Australia 2021 is planned for 6 – 14 March 2021.

How Can Schools Celebrate Seaweek 2021?

We have lots of ideas for School events and activities to help schools celebrate SeaWeek 2011 in may ways. We are increasing our website resources all the time, so keep checking our Primary and Resources pages. Or why not book one of our interactive Programs to give the kids a real hands-on experience of marine creatures!
Here are some great ideas to get you started…

*Decorate your classroom or childcare setting
*Plastic free class challenge – no plastic in lunch boxes for a day/ week
*Record class plastic usage for a day – pledge to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle
*Book an ocean-focused incursion or excursion
*Organize a beach clean (& BBQ?) or visit a local beach

*Host an ocean themed coloring or drawing competition
*Fundraise to support a local coast care charity e.g. Coolum Coast Care, Ocean Crusaders, Sea Shepherd

 SeaWeek 2021 is hosted by the AAEE (Australian Association for Environmental Education). If you are planning to run a SeaWeek event, competition, or activity, they’d love to promote it! Email: seaweek@aaee.org.au for more information.

 

 

Ocean Life Education

Ocean Life Education is dedicated to promoting the preservation of our marine environment to communities and schools.  We spend SeaWeek Australia visiting Early Learning Centres and Schools and hosting events throughout Queensland and NSW. Our 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. We believe education is the key to inspiring schools and community to protect our oceans.

To join our community of Ocean Legends and become part of the solution, follow us:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OceanLifeEducation/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ocean_life_education/

How Can I Protect the Ocean?

Scientific research has concluded that we need to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030 in order to safeguard the health of marine life and habitats. Yes, we need to put pressure on governments to take action and change policy but we can all do our bit to make a difference. In fact, working together we can all make a huge difference.

“Our actions over the next 10 years will determine the state of the ocean for the next 10,000 years.” Dr.Sylvia Earle, Marine Biologist & Conservationist

 

How you can take action to protect the ocean locally and internationally…

 

Local action to protect the ocean

 

  • Reduce your use of plastics: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption: use public transport and turn off unnecessary appliances
  • Make sustainable seafood choices: check the label – is it ocean friendly?
  • Help take care of the beach: volunteer with an organisation such as Coolum Coast Care or simply pick up debris as you walk
  • Travel the ocean responsibly: be mindful of wildlife and never throw anything overboard
  • Campaign for change: support local campaign groups such as Coolum Coast Care and Great Barrier Reef Foundation to protect and rebuild marine areas
  • Educate yourself and your friends about oceans and marine life: the more you know, the more you’ll want to help ensure the health of the ocean – then share that knowledge to educate and inspire others.
Check out our program Marine Biologist for a Day 

International action to protect the ocean

Sign this petition telling world leaders that you want action to protect our oceans now!

Plastic Free July – take the challenge

plastic-free-july-logo-banner-lge

Ocean Life Education is encouraging local households, businesses and schools to accept the Plastic Free July Challenge. The challenge is quiet simple: attempt to consume no single-use plastic during July.

Single-use plastic is anything that is intended to be used once then thrown away. If all single-use plastic sounds a bit daunting, just try the “big four” single-use plastic items are plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic straws and plastic containers.

“Single use plastic is one of the most concerning issues facing our oceans and its inhabitants and it won’t go away by itself. Join us in reducing and ridding single use plastic from our every day use to protect the future of our ocean animals – and us.”

Read more about the problem with plastics in our oceans.

Will you accept the challenge?

Plastic free July is a fun challenge that gets us thinking about the amount of plastic packaging in our lives.

Why participate?

  • Australians send 1 million tonnes of plastic to landfill each year. And too much plastic ends up as litter.
  • Chemicals in plastics can have harmful effects on our health.
  • You’re not alone! Join the PFJ network and join us at events, workshops and online discussion forums.

The Challenge

  • Attempt to consume no single-use plastic during July.
  • Collect any plastic packaging you do buy. Keep it in a ‘dilemma bag’.

Choose your challenge and Register!

People can register for the challenge; and share their experiences, ideas and tips at www.plasticfreejuly.org.

Deplastify your life

Use this plastic detox mind map for ideas on how to deplastify your life!

Plastic Detox Mind Map A4

Plastic Free July started as a local initiative in Perth, Western Australia and has grown into a global initiative.

If you’re interested in this topic and would like us to host a workshop for your students or early learners, check out our programs.