Free downloadable resources for teachers:
Touch tank animal posters:
How many students can I bring?
Most classes bring 25 students but we can accommodate a maximum of up to 60 students at a time.
What do I need to bring?
- For lower to mid primary it’s a good idea to bring about 3-4 parent helpers to assist students to stay on task with small group activities.
- All teaching resources are provided, including clipboards, pencils and paper.
- Kinder/prep classes should bring a box (e.g. lid from A3 box) to help carry art home.
- A visit usually runs from 10 am till 2 pm but this is flexible.
- It’s also good idea to bring a laptop computer or USB memory stick with at least 8 GB space because a baited video camera is deployed from the nearby jetty during your visit. You can take the video recording back to class for further activities. See our YouTube channel for examples (www.youtube.com/user/MDCWoodbridge).
- If a trip on the Penghana has been planned then it is essential that students wear appropriate clothing as it can be very cold on the open water even in the summer.
A primary teacher is based at the MDC to deliver the lessons to your students. The programs outlined below are not fixed and can be adjusted for composite classes or specific learning needs. To discuss your program please contact us.
Foreshore habitat survey
Curriculum links for Foreshore Habitat Survey: Foundation Daily and seasonal changes in our environment, including the weather, affect everyday life ACSSU004 and Living things have basic needs, including food and water ACSSU002, Year 1 Living things live in different places where their needs are met ACSSU211, Year 2 Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events ACSIS037, Year 3 Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships ACSHE050, Year 4 Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive ACSSU073, Year 5 Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment ACSSU043, Year 6 The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment ACSSU094).
Exploring the nearby foreshore is entirely dependent on weather and, more importantly, tide conditions. It is therefore not listed in any of the programs below but can be substituted for any session if the tides are suitable. You can check tide predictions using the Bureau of Meteorology website (http://www.bom.gov.au/oceanography/tides/MAPS/tas.shtml#map), look for low tides <0.7m. It’s best to contact the MDC primary coordinator to discuss predicted tide conditions. Please let us know if you would like to have foreshore work as an option. Typically in this activity upper primary (years 4-6) can use quadrats to conduct a survey of what lives on a rocky and/or sandy shore, while years kinder to 3 conduct simple ‘find-and-identify’ exploration. Foreshore fossicking links well to many aspects of science curriculum as well as Primary Connections Schoolyard Safari.
Students with additional needs program
We have access to a 12 seat Hiace bus that the MDC Primary Teacher can use to pick up a small group of students with additional needs and their support staff from your school. Our teacher can plan with your school’s support teacher the precise learning outcomes for each student to ensure the students maximise their visit.
Pre-kinder/Launch into Learning program/LiFT
We can offer a one hour visit for pre-kinder groups to explore the MDC and engage in discovery play. Due to the nature of the facility, the children and the number of adults we prefer to have only a maximum of 25 children. We also set aside a week as LiL Week later in the year.
Home-school families are very welcome. To make it economical for you we suggest you organise a group of around 20 children then contact our bookings officer to discuss options
Living things have basic needs, including food and water ACSSU002, Science involves exploring and observing the world using the senses ACSHE013, The way objects move depends on a variety of factors, including their size and shape ACSSU005
The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by touch tank invertebrates, art activities, watch baited underwater camera and feed the animals.
Year 1 Program
This links well to Primary Connections Schoolyard Safari. Living things have a variety of external features ACSSU017, represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways such as oral and written language, drawing and role play ACSIS029
The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates, deep sea bioluminescence, sharks, watch baited underwater camera and feed the animals.
Year 2 Program
Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves ACSSU030, People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things, ACSHE035
The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates, seahorse life cycles, sharks eggs and then watch baited underwater camera and feed the animals. Some
Year 3 Program
This links well to Primary Connections Feathers, fur or leaves? Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things ACSSU044
The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates and classification, explore plankton using microscopes, grouping fish in pond or sharks and watch baited underwater camera and feed the animals.
Year 4 Program
Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive ACSSU073, Living things have life cycles ACSSU072
The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates, explore plankton using microscopes, life cycle of jellies, the marine food web, the needs of animals, and watch baited underwater camera and feed the animals.
Year 5 Program
Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment ACSSU043
The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates focusing on adaptations, explore plankton using microscopes, aquarium animal adaptations, adaptations to the deep sea, reproductive adaptations of shark and watch baited underwater camera and feed the animals.
Year 6 Program
The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment ACSSU094
The visit begins with exploring the MDC, followed by scientific drawing of touch tank invertebrates, ocean currents, marine pollution and watch baited underwater camera and feed the animals.
Grades 5 or 6 one class only program using Penghana
Half the class, their teacher and MDC Secondary teacher go on Penghana while other half remains at Centre with MDC Primary Teacher to explore the MDC, do scientific drawings of touch tank invertebrates drawing, microscopy, investigate sharks. Both groups join to watch baited underwater camera and feed the animals.
Two Class Raptor Refuge and MDC visit
The MDC as teamed up with Raptor Refuge (www.raptorrefuge.com.au) and Parks & Wildlife, to offer two classes of a maximum of 50 students in total, a half day visit to each facility. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to get up close and compare and contrast of Tasmanian wildlife from very different habitats, all in one day.
The day is highly suited to schools that want two classes to share a bus on the same excursion, thus saving on costs. One class spends the morning at the Raptor Refuge, while the other class visits the MDC (less than 10 minutes away), then the classes swap over at lunch time.
Raptor Refuge maintains live birds such as eagles, owls, and other raptors, that are either permanent residents or are recovering after injury before returning to the wild. Students use the recently built education centre and are guided through activities by a Parks and Wildlife Discovery Ranger.
Please contact Raptor Refuge and the Marine Discovery Centre to organise your program.
Primary Travel Show
If your school is more than 1.5 hours away from the Marine Discovery Centre we can come to you!
Our primary teacher can bring a portable touch tank of live invertebrate animals, an aquarium of assorted marine animals, microscopes to look at plankton, and a number of learning and art activities for K-6 classes.
Typically the travel show is set up in a spare classroom or GP room and can stay there for a number of days. Each class is provided with a two period block of time. The MDC primary teacher takes each class through the lessons. The price of the visit varies from school to school due to fuel costs, the number of days required to be at the school, if accommodation is required for the MDC teacher, and the number of students. Contact our bookings administrator to discuss (6267 4649 or woodbridgeMDC@education.tas.gov.au).
At least 2 hours is needed to initially set up the classroom (this can be done the day before) and about 2 hours after school on the last day to pack up the classroom.
Here’s an example of the curriculum-linked learning activities that have been done in the past:
Explore, and do scientific drawings, of live touch tank invertebrate animals (e.g. sea stars, sea urchins, crabs, sea cucumbers).
A lesson on the seahorse life cycle and make a sea horse life cycle paper plate model (grades 1 to 4).
A lesson on bioluminescence then students draw a deep sea animal and decorate it with glow in the dark stickers (grade 1 and up)
A lesson on plankton then explore live plankton using microscopes (grade 3 and up)
Draw and handle various types of shark/ray eggs (grade 2).
Early childhood classes (kinder and prep) also explore touch tank animals but instead of explicit lessons they undertook a number of marine-themed art/craft activities:
- Make a calico print of a flounder
- Print a marine-themed pattern
- Paint a marine plaster cast
- Make a decorator crab collage
- Make a collage spelling their name using nautical flags
The travel show has visited a number of schools around Tasmania and can provide a fantastic hands-on complement to any marine-themed science units your classes are learning.
Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE)
As a member of AAEE our primary teacher is coordinating SeaWeek2020, a celebration of the importance of the sea to all our lives. Over November and December 2019 Australian children can tender a piece of artwork for the AAEE 2020 calendar. 12 pieces will be chosen to feature in the calendar that will be free to download from the AAEE website in January 2020. The entry form can be found here: 2020 AAEE Calendar Entry form