STARFISH and crabs are popular favourites for pupils collecting specimens for Warrnambool East Primary School’s new marine touch tank.
Principal Lindy Sharp said the four-section tank, in the school’s foyer, was home to a collection of local marine specimens.
“It provides an amazing living exhibit for our children to explore,” Mrs Sharp said.
Warrnambool East is a science specialist school in partnership with Deakin University. The subject is now taught at the school at least once weekly, with a goal to reverse the drift away from maths and science subjects.
Science specialist teacher Kerry McCarthy said the aim of the tank was to recreate a rocky shore, letting pupils see, appreciate and touch the local environment.
“It is about engaging them in school and getting them passionate about science,” Mrs McCarthy said.
Mrs McCarthy and several pupils ventured to Warrnambool’s Shelly Beach this week in search of inhabitants for the tank.
Taking advantage of their licence to collect marine wildlife, the children scavenged for starfish, rocks, snails and other interesting items.
Mrs Sharp said the project familiarised pupils with the local marine environment.
“Building the passion and understanding of science and our local marine environments augurs well for future generation’s understanding, protecting and sharing our marine environments” Mrs Sharp said.
The program is modelled to engage pupils and promote careers in science, especially the marine sector.
“The kids have the chance to do their own research and find their own answers,” Mrs McCarthy said.