Wednesday 5th Feb, 10:45 am
Aims of a marine debris citizen science program were to inspire students with participatory fieldwork, increase understanding of the scientific process and increase awareness and knowledge of the impacts of marine debris. The program meets relevant key learning areas of the Australian Curriculum.
Schools participating in this citizen science program had two options: 1) a talk with scientists visiting the classroom or 2) the talk plus a beach excursion in which students do a beach walk to collect and classify debris and provide data to an online database.
The talk and beach walk was more effective than the talk alone in increasing students’ knowledge and increasing their practice of pro-environmental behaviours. One favourite aspect of the program was participating in an authentic science experience.
“My favourite part of the … day was that I felt like a real scientist and that it felt like I participated in a global problem.”
Student comments demonstrated that doing something positive doesn’t have to be sexy to appeal. One favourite aspect of participation was collecting and sorting rubbish.
“I liked doing the beach survey because it was making the environment healthy and I found it amazing seeing how much rubbish was in 50m only!”