Tag Archives: school incursion

Ocean to Outback – Sights, Sounds and Smells of the Sea Go Bush

Considering they’re very basic creatures, sea stars have some pretty amazing abilities (like regrowing their own leg if they lose one!) but they don’t normally travel hundreds of kilometres inland… until now.

With a little assistance from Ocean Life Education, our Blue Linckia’s, along with the rest of our marine life menagerie, have temporarily migrated away from the coast to help students who rarely get to see the sea understand more about the challenges these animals face.

In a road trip lasting 3 days and covering close to 500 kilometres, Ocean Life Education is making sure children in Blackbutt, Nanango and Kingaroy don’t miss out on the chance to touch and learn about our wonderful animal ambassadors.

The Ocean to Outback initiative is supported by the State Government through its Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grant.

Why go to such extreme lengths to facilitate these encounters?  Oceans cover almost three quarters of our planet and produce more than half of the oxygen on earth while absorbing harmful carbon dioxide.

Ocean currents also move such a large body water between the equator and poles, they help to regulate the global climate which impacts all of us – even those that live well beyond the shoreline.  Keeping the oceans healthy is in everyone’s best interest.

But travelling with a crew of sea stars, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, hermit crabs and a shark is not without its challenges as water quality and oxygen levels are vital to their survival, especially in the hostile bush environment.

One thousand litres of salt water have been transported along with the animals to ensure they are stress free on their little adventure.

But all the planning, all the logistics have been worth it just to see the excitement on the faces of a whole new batch of ocean lovers, who may rarely hear the waves crash or smell the salt in the air but know the importance of caring about the underwater world – even this far from the coast.

Have Tank will Travel

Usually our sea animals bask in the 5 star luxury of their home tanks on the Sunshine Coast, where everything is carefully monitored to create an optimum environment, but when they hit the road to educate our next generation of ocean lovers, things get a little more tricky.

Our touch tanks are a home away from home for our animal ambassadors and we work hard to ensure things are as stress free as possible while they play a vital role in helping children understand and appreciate the aquatic world.

They travel all over Brisbane and the rest of South East Queensland, visiting early learning centres, schools and shopping centres, giving youngsters the opportunity to get up close and personal with these exotic creatures.

Under careful supervision, children are able to gently interact with our sea stars, sea cucumbers and spiny urchins, using our one finger touch policy that ensures our animals remain relatively undisturbed while cocooned in their cases.

To protect both animal and young enthusiast, our baby sharks are carefully contained in see through containers which allow for thorough inspection without causing damage.

Likewise, the colourful tropical sea cucumbers have such delicate feeding tentacles, they need to be kept clear of probing fingers.


But the fresh water turtles are only too willing to subject themselves to some soothing shell massage, all in the name of fostering a greater human/animal relationship.

We limit the amount of time our animal ambassadors spend away from their homes, rotating our starfish, cucumbers, urchins, sharks and turtles to make sure they are well rested and fed before embarking on their next mission to help save the oceans.


Science Week – are you ready?

science week ocean life

National Science Week is almost here, 13-21 August, and provides students the opportunity to engage with science in a fun and unique way.

At Ocean Life Education we make understanding animals and their natural environment simple and easy to remember. We love empowering students and encouraging them to dig deeper in search for answers.

We strive to provide an invaluable experience propelling the school kids of today into the scientists of tomorrow.

Host a Science Week Ocean Life incursion

Life within the ocean is one of the greatest wonders of the world and what better way to celebrate Science Week than getting up close and personal with live marine life – from the spiky and slimy to beautiful and wonderful – our creatures are all fascinating to learn about.

We look forward to visiting the Year 1 students at Moggill State School and Year 4 students at Clayfield College during Science Week as well as the many early learning centres ready to discover the ocean.

We encourage you and your school to jump on board and enlighten your students towards a brighter scientific future.

Book a science incursion with our live marine animals today.

Get involved

A National Science Week event should:

  • be fun for the participants
  • be focused on quality science outcomes
  • be supportive of your science curriculum
  • encourage the participants to want to try more science
  • raise the general profile of science within the community

For great conversation, videos and more, visit the National Science Week website.

Our Ocean Life programs

Our fun and interactive programs cover topics such as plastic pollution, climate change, human impact issues, classification, conservation and life cycles to name a few.

Check out our range of curriculum-linked School Program incursions or let us tailor a program to suit your current unit theme.

To book your Science Week Ocean Life incursion, contact us today (spaces are limited)!

Ocean Life an Interactive School Incursion


By Richard Coward

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

Through positive controlled contact 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.

Initial focus with children is on individual animals, the next step is to explain their role in their specific environment, from here the question is asked; “what would happen if this animal was removed/extinct?” Finally, what impacts are we as humans having on the animals and their environment?

Responding to interactive learning

Interactive learning covers all modes of learning such as visual, auditory and kinaesthetic (touch). We understand all children are different and learn in different ways, some may be visual not auditory, others kinaesthetic not visual. This means the message of protecting through understanding is far reaching and more effective.

Children respond very well to hands on interactive learning, with the real animal at their fingertips information given to them has much greater meaning than learning from a book, white board or a story.

This one-on-one experience provides a greater depth of understanding which leads to the desire to protect them.

Marine studies linked to the Australian Curriculum

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.

Ocean Life Education marine incursions are accredited by Education Queensland and are linked to the Australian National Curriculum and C2C for science and biological education.

A variety of marine education programs are offered for schools, vacation care, special events and conferences.

Choose a program that suits current unit themes

Our fun and interactive programs cover topics such as plastic pollution, climate change, human impact issues, classification, conservation and life cycles to name a few.

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

What we’re known for

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

We are pleased to have presented at renowned environmental events such as Indigiscapes, Sunshine Coast University’s World Environment Day and and Explorama as well as the Australian Association for Environmental Educator’s World Environmental Education Congress in Brisbane 2011.

We’ve also featured on children’s television program, Totally Wild, twice.

We are leaders in environmental education

We are of the firm belief that Australia is a leading nation in environmental education, but we are only scratching the surface, we must be resolute and continue to develop and alter the general populations’ mindset and put environmental sustainability at the top of the list of priorities.

The job of looking after and sustaining our environment for the future isn’t just one for the governments it is one for everybody.

What to expect:

  • Qualified marine educators arrive at your school or event and set up an area for discussion, storytelling, resource exploration and of course hands on interaction.
  • We bring fascinating live marine animals, artefacts, games and information.
  • Students may encounter baby sharks, turtles, sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and more.
  • Open display tubs are used for easy interaction and provide an entertaining, educational programme that lasts in the student’s minds forever.
  • When we leave, students are talking about the live animals for weeks!

What more information?

For more information, visit our School Programs page or Contact Us to make a booking.