Brisbane students get involved in local actions to protect the Reef

Published: 17/09/2014

More than 30 students and teachers from six Reef Guardian Schools in the Brisbane region swapped the classroom for Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Gardens Point campus to learn about how local environmental actions can protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The day-long activities were part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA) annual Future Leaders Eco Challenges that raise awareness about how activities on the land can affect the marine environment.

Future Leaders Eco Challenges are about students acting local but thinking global when it comes to addressing threats to the Reef.

GBRMPA Acting Reef Guardian School Program Manager Carolyn Luder said during the day students from primary and secondary schools participated in high-tech activities at QUT Science and Engineering Centre.

“Students explored biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef using The Cube, one of the world’s largest digital learning spaces,” she said.

“They also learnt about crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and the damage to corals which reduces the health of the Reef.”

Rachel Nasplezes, Senior Community Engagement Officer, Healthy Waterways was the feature scientist at the Future Leaders Eco Challenge presenting to students about her career pathway and the importance of healthy waterways.

“It’s important we engage with young people as our future leaders," Mrs Nasplezes said.

"The day was an opportunity to discuss with students the social, economic and environmental benefits of protecting our waterways for future generations.”

The event engaged students in learning about potential pathways for a career in science or engineering.

STEM Teacher in Residence, Anne Brant said it was great to see students exploring the Virtual Reef and enjoying being part of the QUT community.

"The students were highly engaged and produced some excellent presentations. Their insights were thought provoking and showed their passion and interest in the Reef and its environment” Mrs Brant said.

The event was supported by QUT, Healthy Waterways, Keep Queensland Beautiful Cleaner Greener Schools Program and Sea World.

GBRMPA’s Reef Guardian Schools program includes 308 schools and over 126,000 students from Torres Strait to Brisbane taking part in Reef education and environmental activities in their local area.

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846