Wednesday, 30 June, 2021 - 13:15
School Excursions Brisbane

Throw your whiteboard eraser out the window – the classroom is overrated. It might be a great place for order and efficiency, but it’s missing a key element of transformative teaching – exploration.

Your students learn best when they’re exploring – challenging themselves to know the unknown in the big, wide world. By immersing your students into diverse new environments, you can tap into their intrinsic motivation, spurring their natural sense of curiosity instead of relying on punishment or reward.

So where will your students’ next adventure be? The University of Queensland’s island research stations, available for day excursions and school camps for senior secondary students.

Positioned on beautiful North Stradbroke Island and Heron Island, these stations offer custom-built island adventures coupled with world-class education and research facilities.

North Stradbroke Island is jam-packed with adventure, from forest to coast, and it’s located conveniently in Queensland’s south-east corner. UQ works with teachers and UQ academics to develop curriculum-aligned terrestrial, intertidal and marine learning programs that service senior biology, earth and environmental science, geography and marine science syllabuses.

There’s plenty of programs to choose from, with students offered the opportunity to:

  • Collect live fish to identify species and examine morphologies that relate to feeding mechanisms and predator avoidance strategies.
  • Find marine debris from beaches and analyse abundant items to find clues about their origins.
  • Visit recent bushfire sites to investigate the interactions between fire and the abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem and observing plant adaptation to fire ecology.
  • Capture specimens from a swamp and a lake to compare data such as hydrogeology, abiotic factors, species diversity and water quality.
  • Investigate non-native or weedy species of plants and examine what makes them so successful on North Stradbroke Island.

Fancy a more tropical adventure? Visit Heron Island Research Station, just 80 kilometres north-east of Gladstone, and get to live and learn in one of the most biodiverse environments on Earth. Whether discovering turtle hatchlings emerging on the beach, colourful nudibranchs under a rock or reef sharks swimming by, nature is never far away.

Heron Island Research Station learning adventures allow your students to:

  • Analyse sediment core samples from four different reef zones to understand coral cay formation and environmental factors that affect it.
  • Collect plankton samples to compare structures, appendages and behaviours to classify individuals, identify species, infer life histories and consider environmental factors.
  • Investigate the relationship between ocean acidity levels and the impact on calcium carbonate structures in corals through simulated acidity treatments.
  • Study crab diet and physiology to understand how crustaceans have adapted to become more successful in their environmental niche.

This is just a taste of the adventure on offer. Work with us to design and/or deliver a study course or program and start your students’ learning adventure today. Visit the Moreton Bay Research Station website or the Heron Island Research Station website to discover more and get planning.