Citizen Science Field Tours
One of our aims was to provide an opportunity for citizens to attend a field trip. Here we plan to target high school students who are considering biology as a career or just love exploring the outdoors. We wanted kids to have a realistic idea of marine science as well as to expose them to the full range of career opportunities in the field so that they can make informed decisions regarding their own future. We also meet many people who wish they had studied marine biology and instead chose a different career path.
The aim is to show people that you don't need a degree to explore the marine environment and to introduce them to a few citizen science tools, showing them the importance of the data they help us collect. We are in the trial phase of this project and will run these tours in Durban and Cape Town with the help of our collaborators in each city i.e. Tidal Tao and Junior Gabela on the East Coast and The Future Kids and Sea The Bigger Picture on the West. Find out more field tours and freediving courses here.
Defenders of the Blue Marine Science Curriculum
Our collaborators at Sea The Bigger Picture run several great initiatives. We try to make it to every one of their beach clean up events so that we can help clean up but also to sift through the rubbish looking for tiny organisms. Their Defenders of the Blue initiative involves taking high school children from a few schools across the Cape Town Metropolitan area into a safe environment to explore the sea through snorkelling. They asked if we would contribute a curriculum that they could incorporate teaching kids about basic ecological and social issues around marine conservation. We excitedly obliged and spent many hours together refining and testing the framework. Aside from just teaching kids about marine issues, it's important to facilitate project ideas that they come up with themselves and to encourage critical and innovative thinking. This is completely different from the national marine science curriculum currently being tested at a few schools in the Western Cape and was designed to complement the national curriculum. Here we also partly rely on funders like Cape Town Environmental Education Trust who help make this project even better than what we could offer alone. Hopefully this will be rolled out in 2020.