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Information for primary schools visiting the Marine Discovery Centre

A preview video about the centre can be seen at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLDqVnVHPrE

The Woodbridge School Marine Discovery Centre (MDC) is owned and operated by the Department of Education and is part of Woodbridge School. The MDC provides unparalleled opportunities for students to achieve outcomes linked to the Australian Science curriculum and other curriculum areas. Through hands-on experiences with live animals students develop an understanding of important biological and ecosystem concepts and processes, and the practices used to develop scientific knowledge. For a child, a visit to the MDC adds tremendous depth, relevance and, above all, enjoyment to their learning.

Free fully planned unit of lesson plans for Year 5

Click on the link above to download a free, fully planned unit of lessons for year 5 teachers, compiled by the Marine Discovery Centre and aligned to the Australian Curriculum.

Free classroom resource kits (follow link to find out more)

Visiting with your class

How to book a visit

If you have never been before and you simply want to have a look around then please feel free to contact us to arrange an informal visit. Similarly, if you are making a booking and you have never been to the MDC, then it’s a good idea to be familiar with its environs and the program chosen for your students, so please contact us for more information. To book, please contact our admin officer Kari Taylor on 62674649 or email woodbridgemdc@education.tas.gov.au

Options available for your visit

Woodbridge School has a primary teacher based at the MDC to deliver the lessons to your class. Alternatively, you are more than welcome to teach your class entirely yourself using your own lesson planning and the MDC resources. In this case the MDC teacher is willingly available to assist you. This is particularly useful if, for example, you want to use the live animals around the Centre as writing seeds and then take your class through specific literacy activities. That is just one example. Specialist subject teachers might, for example, like to use the MDC as inspiration for music, visual art, drama, body movement, or use the Centre for specific maths curriculum outcomes. Please contact us to discuss your ideas, we’re always keen to try new things.

What to bring

For lower to mid primary it’s a good idea to bring about 3-4 parent helpers to assist students to stay on task with small group work. All teaching resources are provided, including clipboards, pencils and paper. A visit usually runs from 10 am till 2 pm but this is flexible. It’s also good idea to bring a laptop computer or USB memory stick with at least 8 GB space because a baited video camera is deployed from the nearby jetty during your visit. You can take the video recording back to class for further activities. See our YouTube channel for examples (www.youtube.com/user/MDCWoodbridge). If a trip on the RV Penghana is planned then it is essential that students wear appropriate clothing as it can be very cold on the open water.

Programs

The following programs below are available for a single 30 student sized class visiting for the day, typically arriving around 10 am and departing around 2 pm. Significant changes to arrival/departure times will affect what activities can be fitted in. The activities given in the following programs are not set in stone, these are simply suggestions based on previous successful class visits. For example, you may see activities in other grades’ programs listed here that you wish your class to do, or you may have done activities before that are not listed here. Similarly, for classes containing multiple grade classes we can adjust the programs accordingly to suit your students’ needs. For further details or to discuss your program contact the MDC teacher Andrew Walsh - andrew.walsh@education.tas.gov.au

Foreshore Habitat Survey

Curriculum links for Foreshore Habitat Survey: Foundation Daily and seasonal changes in our environment, including the weather, affect everyday life ACSSU004 and Living things have basic needs, including food and water ACSSU002, Year 1 Living things live in different places where their needs are met ACSSU211, Year 2 Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events ACSIS037, Year 3 Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships ACSHE050, Year 4 Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive ACSSU073, Year 5 Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment ACSSU043, Year 6 The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment ACSSU094).

Foreshore Habitat Survey is not listed in any of the day plans below but is recommended if the predicted tides and weather are suitable. In this activity students (grades 4-6) can use quadrats to conduct a survey of what lives on a rocky and/or sandy shore (grades P to 3 conduct simple ‘explore-and-find’, non-quadrat surveys). It links well to many grades in the science curriculum as well as Primary Connections Schoolyard Safari, and children love it. However, foreshore work is entirely dependent on weather and, more importantly, tide conditions. It is therefore not listed in any of the programs below but can be substituted on the day of your visit for any session if the tides are predicted suitable when you arrive. You can check tide predictions using the Bureau of Meteorology website (http://www.bom.gov.au/oceanography/tides/MAPS/tas.shtml#map look for low tides< 0.7m), although it’s best to contact the MDC teacher to discuss predicted tide conditions. Please let us know if you would like to have foreshore work as an option.

Students with additional needs program

We have a 12 seater Hiace bus that the MDC Primary Teacher can use to pick up a small group of students with additional needs and their support staff from your school. Our Primary Teacher will plan with your school’s support teacher the precise learning outcomes for each student to ensure the students maximise their visit.

Pre-kinder/Launch into Learning

We can offer a one hour visit for pre-kinder/Launch into Learning groups to explore the MDC and engage in discovery play. Due to the nature of the facility, the children and the number of adults we prefer to have only a maximum of 25 children. We also set aside a week during term 4 as LiL Week.

Kinder/Foundation program

Living things have basic needs, including food and water ACSSU002, Science involves exploring and observing the world using the senses ACSHE013, The way objects move depends on a variety of factors, including their size and shape ACSSU005

The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by touch tank invertebrates, art activities, watch underwater baited camera and feed the animals.

Year 1 Program

This links well to Primary Connections Schoolyard Safari. Living things have a variety of external features ACSSU017, represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways such as oral and written language, drawing and role play ACSIS029

The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates, deep sea bioluminescence, sharks, watch underwater baited camera and feed the animals.

Year 2 Program

Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves ACSSU030, People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things, ACSHE035

The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates, seahorse life cycles, sharks or marine pollution or watch underwater baited camera and feed the animals.

Year 3 Program

This links well to Primary Connections Feathers, fur or leaves? Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things ACSSU044

The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates and classification, explore plankton using microscopes, grouping fish in pond or sharks or marine pollution or watch underwater baited camera and feed the animals.

Year 4 Program

Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive ACSSU073, Living things have life cycles ACSSU072

The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates, explore plankton using microscopes, life cycle of jellies, the marine food web, introduced species or sharks or marine pollution or watch underwater baited camera and feed the animals.

Year 5 Program

Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment ACSSU043

The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates focusing on adaptations, explore plankton using microscopes, aquarium animal adaptations, adaptations to the deep sea, reproductive adaptations of shark or watch underwater baited camera and feed the animals.

Year 6 Program

The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment ACSSU094

The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates, ocean currents, marine pollution or watch underwater baited camera and feed the animals.

Year 5 or 6 program using RV Penghana

Half the class, their teacher and MDC Secondary teacher go on RV Penghana while other half remains at Centre with MDC Primary Teacher to explore the MDC, do scientific drawings of touch tank invertebrates drawing, microscopy, investigate sharks. Both groups join to watch underwater baited camera and feed the animals.

School Camp

Accommodation is available nearby at Woodbridge West Winds Community Centre (see http://westwindscommunitycentre.com.au) or Snug Carvan Park. For grades 5/6 two day visits can also include a trip on the Centre’s Research Vessel Penghana.

Two Class Raptor Refuge and MDC visit

The MDC as teamed up with Raptor Refuge (www.raptorrefuge.com.au) and Parks & Wildlife, to offer two classes a half day visit to each facility. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to get up close and compare and contrast of Tasmanian wildlife from very different habitats, all in one day.

The day is highly suited to schools that want two classes to share a bus on the same excursion, thus saving on costs. One class spends the morning at the Raptor Refuge, while the other class visits the MDC (less than 10 minutes away), then the classes swap over at lunch time.

Raptor Refuge maintains live birds such as eagles, owls, and other raptors, that are either permanent residents or are recovering after injury before returning to the wild. Students use the recently built education centre and are guided through activities by a Parks and Wildlife Discovery Ranger.

Due to time and curriculum constraints, the day’s program has been fixed and adapted to certain grades. All grades can select the first program option below, although there are other programs below that are more specifically linked to each year of the science curriculum.

Free classroom resource kits

FREE Lesson plans and resource kits to borrow

We have 14 boxed kits each containing a detailed lesson plan and associated materials required to conduct the lesson. During our renovation in 2017 this kit...

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