Reef Guardians dive into a different kind of chemistry in Townsville

Published: 18/10/2012

Reef Guardian students from Charters Towers High School will get a behind the scenes look at the science  used to run the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium, as part of a school chemistry studies camp in Townsville.

The three-day camp for year 10 to 12 students includes a sleepover at Reef HQ Aquarium, learning about reef industries and careers, and how gas and pressures relate to diving.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Reef Guardian Schools Project Officer Sally McPhee said students would see how ocean chemistry was used outside the classroom and in future job opportunities.

"Increasing students' understanding of the ocean processes helps them understand threats to the Great Barrier Reef and how to address these threats,” she said.

“It helps them link their learning to the importance of a healthy Reef and shows them how many industries rely on it.

“Ocean chemistry is vital to our understanding of the complex nature of the Reef and many industries use it every day.”

Chemistry teacher Brad Wright, who organised the trip, said it was great for the students to have a real-world learning experience.

"It helps students become familiar with the scientific and scuba industries and opens their eyes to future employment pathways connected with the Great Barrier Reef," he said.

Students will visit James Cook University, the Museum of Tropical North Queensland and Townsville Hospital's Hyperbaric Unit to observe several experiments from medical staff.

Students will also try diving with a local dive operator and explore ocean chemistry during their overnight stay at Reef HQ Aquarium.

Reef Guardian Schools is an environmental education program run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority which promotes understanding and appreciation of the Reef as well as positive action to protect it. 


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