For the past couple of months we have been fortunate enough to have the use of a “seaquarium” on loan from a local organization, the World Fisheries Trust, based in Victoria. The self-contained unit houses over 35 species of animals and plants native to our waters. The seawater is chilled and oxygenated to maintain ocean-like conditions. The seaquarium allows for observations and experimental projects in biology which permit students to study the interactions between organisms in a realistic habitat. Chemistry and physics connections can also be made. The touch tray allows for a literal hands on approach. Being able to take organisms from the ocean and keep them for a while in the tank extends our ability to investigate them and frees us from the tyranny of tides! In view of our dependence on the oceans, their increasing fragility, and our school’s unique location, we are hoping that initiatives like this will continue to inspire students to explore the science of oceanography and ways to solve some of the problems linked to environmental issues.
David McCarthy, Director of Learning and Biology teacher