Stu­dents make a splash for sci­ence week

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Na­tional Sci­ence Week had a marine fo­cus at Ex­mouth Dis­trict High School, with a team of Nin­ga­loo Out­look re­searchers teach­ing stu­dents about reef conservation.

Team mem­bers from marine re­search pro­gram Nin­ga­loo Out­look vis­ited the school’s Year 10 stu­dents on Au­gust 15 to run a chem­istry-ori­ented lab into shal­low reefs and a sim­u­lated deep reef sur­vey us­ing an au­ton­o­mous un­der­wa­ter ve­hi­cle, a small pro­gram­mable sub­ma­rine, in the lo­cal pool.

Nin­ga­loo Out­look deep reefs lead re­search sci­en­tist Russ Bab­cock said while it was more ad­vanced marine sci­ence work than that of most high schools, it was im­por­tant to in­crease com­mu­nity aware­ness of marine conservation work by mak­ing it ex­cit­ing and in­ter­est­ing for stu­dents.

“What we’re do­ing with Nin­ga­loo Out­look is try­ing to not only do some new sci­ence and find out new things that peo­ple can use to try to pro­tect Nin­ga­loo Reef, but also to make sure the whole com­mu­nity is aware of what we’re do­ing and are as well-in­formed as pos­si­ble about the dis­cov­er­ies we’re mak­ing,” he said.

“And part of that is work­ing with peo­ple, with kids in schools, so they have a ba­sic un­der­stand­ing of the sorts of things we do.”

The Nin­ga­loo Out­look re­searchers also sur­veyed the reef and gave a pre­sen­ta­tion on their year of deep reef re­search at the Novo­tel Nin­ga­loo Re­sort dur­ing their time in town.

Pic­ture: CSIRO

Nin­ga­loo Out­look team mem­bers and Ex­mouth Dis­trict High School stu­dents with the au­ton­o­mous un­der­wa­ter ve­hi­cle they tested at the lo­cal pool dur­ing Na­tional Sci­ence Week.

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