On Friday 14 July, 27 high school students from four schools across South East Queensland boarded the Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre vessel – Inspiration, to explore the science of life in Moreton Bay.
The excursion is part of the Overboard and Underwater program funded by the Engaging Queenslanders in Science Grant. By taking part in this excursion, STEM students have the chance to connect with scientists and discover the opportunities for a career in science. STEM students also experience the value of Traditional Owner knowledge and the cultural significance of Minjirriba (North Stradbroke Island) through highly engaging and locally relevant activities.
Matt Burns of Quandamooka and the Quandamooka rangers took students on a journey with a didgeridoo performance and a demonstration of tools and practices used by locals for thousands of years to care for the land and sea. This knowledge of the country can be used to better protect flora and fauna for the future of Moreton Bay.
Students also explored seagrass life in Moreton Bay, using the latest innovations in technology. BRUV video capturing allowed the students to get an insider view of the bay from under the water. The video was also used to identify fish species and their habitats.
This hands-on experience with real scientists from Queensland Science also involved plankton trawling, the analysis of samples to identify seahorse and fish larvae and the discovery of different plant species. Through their analysis, the students were able to understand the importance of plankton in the food chain and the critical need for its protection.
This visit to Moreton Bay was made possible by the involvement of Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and Queensland Science.