Who said never work with children or animals? Ocean Life Education’s Director of Education, Richard Coward, loves doing both! Richard’s spent the past 14 years combining two of his passions – protecting marine life and educating and inspiring young minds. But the time spent in classrooms, early learning centres and at community events makes up only a fraction of the working day for Richard, his team of marine educators and his marine animal ambassadors.
Preparing our Marine Animals
The day usually starts before first light, checking on the crew of marine animal ambassadors. We make sure they are healthy and ready to go on an adventure. To minimise fatigue, we rotate the creatures, to ensure they get rest days between their public engagements. Bags of oxygenated water are filled to provide a safe and comfortable space inside the travel tubs which will become their home for their time on the road.
Apart from the cargo of animals, the van is loaded with extra salt water, games, artefacts, activities, and books - depending on the programs booked for the day. Our mascot Ole, the ocean cleaning turtle, always gets the best spot in the cab! Details are checked and notes read through to make sure we are fully set for the day. It’s time to get the show on the road!
Setting Up the Show
Unpacking the animals and exhibits is an artform in itself. We allow good time to set up, giving the animals new water so they can breathe easily while on display. We arrange them in a user-friendly way that allows enthusiastic participants plenty of room to feel their way around our very tactile exhibits. Children wash their hands without soap to ensure no chemicals or sunscreen residue is passed onto our animals.
What to Expect of an Ocean Life Education Program
Educational Resources: Programs are supported by our own quality resources such as videos, activities, worksheets and more, to help teachers plan lessons pre and post visit. https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/primary-schools/
Back at Base
When the final program of the day is finished and everything is safely secured in the van, we head home to return our animal ambassadors to their tanks and begin the feeding regime. Feeding can be a complicated business, with half a dozen different pallets to please – and trying to mimic conditions in the wild.
We need lots to do to keep our creatures healthy, so when we’re not setting up displays, we maintain our tanks, receiving 1,500 litres of ocean water every couple of weeks which we store in a huge tank to use when needed.
Even though our animals may only be on display for short periods in the day, a lot goes into keeping them happy and healthy. But it’s all very worthwhile if it helps EDUCATE and INSPIRE the next generation to love, appreciate and PROTECT our precious oceans.
Want to know more?
Call us on (07) 5443 8545
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our website https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/
Hope to see you soon!