Deep Dive Into The Reef

By Luke Smart

Deep Dive Into The Reef

Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre is an excursion and camp facility open to schools all over Central Queensland. Their mission is to add value to the school-based curriculum by delivering authentic, stimulating, real-world learning experiences beyond the capacity of the classroom. Principal Michael Gabriel said,

“When students visit the centre we like to give them hands-on learning experiences in the environment. We’re doing a lot of real-word science, especially in biology.  We investigate local environments, being a coastal area we do a lot of work in the Boyne River, the mangroves and down at the beach. We also do a lot of outdoor education; we have a high and low ropes course and regularly go canoeing along the river.”

Towards the end of term one, Michael was informed (due to COVID), that all camps and excursions were to cease. Staff at the education centre began wondering how they could continue to support schools in their learning. That’s when they had a brilliant idea, creating a series of free online educational videos on the reef environment, aptly named ‘Deep Dive Into The Reef’.

“We have expertise based in the biology field, so we decided to work on a series of videos based on the reef system, including the estuaries, the creeks, the rivers, the mangroves, and then heading out to the reef.”

When planning the series the staff wanted to ensure that any resources they created could be utilized at a later date. Adopting a four-tier approach the centre has not only created video lessons on reef systems but also on their teaching practice, assisting parents with home learning. They also assigned students with engaging tasks like creating a nature colour wheel and gave the public a look behind the scenes of the centre.