A new marine outreach educational resource has been launched across New Zealand today to mark World Oceans Day on the 8th June.
The Blue Project is aimed at educating kiwi kids about the importance of marine conservation and sustainability. The programme, launched by SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland and the SEA LIFE Trust, hopes to extend marine education to classrooms around New Zealand.
Of the 25,000 primary school students who visited SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland last year, most were unsurprisingly from Auckland. The Blue Project will allow kids from all over the country to explore the wonders of the ocean.
The Blue Project website uses 360-degree video to bring the marine environment to life, transporting students from their classrooms to the wonder of Kelly Tarlton’s underwater experience. Teachers will be able to take their classes through the experience using smartboards for group learning, mobile or via personal computers for student-led education.
“A resource like this can really capture the attention of students,” says Rangikura School teacher, Rebecca Sellers. “It’s interactive and gamified which will keep the kids engaged and enjoying learning. Especially if you have access to VR headsets - we know how easy it is to get kids excited through some seriously cool tech.”
The Blue Project has been divided into three modules: education about the ocean, climate change, and avoiding extinction. Each module is designed to inspire, while aligning with the current curriculum. Calls to action are woven throughout the programme, with small actions like reducing the use of plastic, teaching kiwi kids how to make a big difference.
Kelly Tarlton’s general manager Tim Keeling says that the aim of the programme is to inspire, educate and empower change.
“We’re incredibly proud of the work we do around the conservation and protection of our ocean habitats. The opportunity to extend the joy of marine life with even more kids around New Zealand was unmissable. Our partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC) is invaluable and we are extremely grateful that our application to fund the project was successful.”
Currently in the start-up phase, the SEA LIFE Trust is looking to work with education providers and corporates to increase the number of school children who have access to The Blue Project. While there are currently three modules, the website is designed for development to allow updates and new modules in the future.
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