After packing the Turtle Wagon to maximum capacity, the Turtle Team piled into the ute and bid farewell to Gnaraloo. For the next two months we will be traveling along the WA coast, visiting schools and community groups with presentations on sea turtle biology, conservation, and our work at Gnaraloo.
The first two days of presentations brought us to Carnarvon Christian School, Clontarf Academy, and Carnarvon Community College. There, we were able to engage a wide variety of school levels, from college down to kindergarten. Our upper level presentations emphasize research and conservation, so we had to think outside the box to relate to our much younger audiences. To demonstrate the basics of the sea turtle lifecycle, we played The Hatchling Game with lower primary classes where students pretended to be baby sea turtles, hatching out of their eggs, and racing to the sea – all while trying to avoid predators on the beach (aka the Turtle Team). The younger students also enjoyed finger painting and coloring while learning about sea turtle anatomy.
Further south, we stopped off in Dongara and spoke with a few classes at Dongara District High School. In December, we had the opportunity to take a couple of their teachers out on night survey with us. It was lovely to see them again, and we look forward to hopefully hosting a group of these high school students up at Gnaraloo during nesting season.
The entire GTCP team would like to thank the staff and students of our Carnarvon and Dongara schools for welcoming us into their classrooms. Next stop: Perth!
– Kimberly Nielsen (GTCP 2015/16 Scientific Intern)