The Mackay Marine Classroom aimed to reconnect students in the greater Mackay region with the coast and marine environment.
The program organisers believe 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 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.
Wild Mob has been helping high school students from all over Australia, and university students from all over the world, to learn about marine environments and to help out with habitat restoration on Brampton Island. In 2013 Wild Mob and Reef Catchments joined forces, for a few years, to provide an opportunity for students from the greater Mackay region to participate in a unique experiential education program in their own backyard.
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 and Mackay Marine Classrooms actively sought contributions from businesses and organisations to further reduce costs.