The Mackay Marine Classroom aimed to reconnect students, in the greater Mackay region, with the coast and marine environment.
The organisers believed science should be taught by experience and the Great Barrier Reef and its islands offer just about the best marine studies classroom in the world. The Mackay Marine Classroom was fully aligned with the senior marine science, oceanography and conservation and sustainability curriculums.
Wildmob, which no longer operates, and Reef Catchments, developed the program to deliver an education experience that could not be compared to any other. Students had the choice to go on board for a day-trip or for a full four day camp on Brampton Island which included field visits to local beaches. During their time exploring both land and water, students developed a functional understanding of, and an appreciation for, the coast and marine environment.
The activities which were offered by the Mackay Marine Classroom were developed to align with senior studies including science, marine science, biology, earth science, and geography syllabuses. The program was tailored to meet the needs of particular students with a range of lesson plans which included
- Coastal processes in the Mackay region
- Charting the impacts of plastics on marine environments
- Concepts in marine ecology and ecological indicators
- Charting the impacts of climate change on coral reefs
The cost to students was heavily subsidised by contributions from Wild Mob and Reef Catchments. Mackay Marine Classrooms also actively sought contributions from businesses and organisations to further reduce costs.
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E Cass Hayward