West view of the Baithouse, the current home of the
Island Bay Marine Education Centre.
SPONSORS.We wish to thank our Sponsors and Supporters....click here to see who they are...
Holiday Programmes School Programmes EMR Programme
Taputeranga Marine Reserve
We welcome any donations to assist the Marine Education Centre in its endeavours
Donations can be posted to:
Marine Education Centre
P.O. Box 20-001, Wellington South firstname.lastname@example.org
of the Island Bay Marine Education Centre
- The primary objectives of the Island Bay Marine Education Centre are to promote
interest in, increase knowledge and understanding of, and encourage protection,
enhancement, and enjoyment of local, national, and global marine environments
through public education programmes, live displays, and community initiated research
and service projects.
- All of our programmes, hands-on activities,
and live displays, are designed to encourage a better understanding and appreciation
of Wellington's South Coast and Harbour environment, and to engender a sense of
guardianship within the greater Wellington community for this unique natural resource.
- The basic theme of our education programme is "Discovering the
Marine Environment" which emphasises gaining an appreciation and understanding
of New Zealand's unique rocky shores, promotes respect for and protection of its
wide variety of marine life, and acknowledges and explores the role of humans
in the ecology of this and other habitats.
- Our programmes
emphasise environmental education, conservation, and a "hands-on", enjoyable
approach to learning. Our aim is to de-mystify science and at the same time to
instil a feeling of wonder and respect in all our visitors. We firmly believe
that children are our most important audience as it is through them that an environmentally
responsible society can grow.
- The Marine Education Centre is located in Island Bay adjacent to one of the
richest and safest rocky shores in the region.
- The Centre's
realistic Live Habitat Displays, including our very important "Touch Gently"
pool, are home to almost 500 species of live marine plants and animals; the most
extensive collection of live marine life in New Zealand.
Centre has a large activity room with seating for up to 80 primary or 60 intermediate
and secondary students, an extensive collection of books on a wide variety of
marine subjects, a large video library (e.g. "Blue Planet" series),
and other visual teaching aids including a collection of preserved marine specimens,
a digital camera, microscopes for use by Level 6-8 students, and an interactive
"New Zealand Coastal Creatures" computer programme available for visiting
- At present, the Centre has an extensive and
growing collection of excellent New Zealand and overseas teaching resources available
for special studies. We have also developed a Marine Resource Pack for use by
local schools which includes a "Seacrits of the Rocky Shores" study
book especially designed for use at the Marine Education Centre, a "Fishy
Adventure" booklet for pre-schools, and booklets on Seahorses, Octopus, and
the history of Island Bay.
- The Centre's seaside location,
its extensive displays of live local marine life, and our knowledge and experience,
allow us to offer a wide range of interesting, stimulating, hands-on and interactive
educational opportunities for visitors of all ages and abilities to learn about
the biology, ecology, and conservation of the animals and plants that inhabit
our local marine environments.
- The full range of our School
Visit Programmes includes a variety of learning experiences for students at all
achievement levels, and special programmes designed to assist teachers make full
use of the Centre's facilities. Although some of the programmes are designed specifically
for a particular age group or level of achievement, most can be modified to fit
any age group.
- All our programmes are between 1 and 2 hours
long (depending on the age group), and are designed to provide learning experiences
that meet the achievement objectives of the New Zealand Science Curriculum. However,
several of our programme choices for the 2003-2006 school years are designed to
provide learning experiences which meet some of the achievement objectives of
the Mathematics, Technology, Arts, Biology, and Environmental Education Curricula
- All programmes usually include a personal welcome and
an introductory discussion within our lecture room, before beginning a supervised
exploration of our "Welcome Pool", our extensive live marine-life habitat
aquaria, and lots of hands-on and interactive experiences at our "touch-gently"
pool and live displays. An encounter with our large collection of adopted turtles
and fresh water fish, as well as a guided exploration of the rocky shore zone
adjacent to the Centre are part of most visits.
Would you believe
that there's a crab walking around under all of this? There is! It's one of the
many fascinating creatures to meet at the Marine Education Centre...
Approaches to Teaching and Learning
- We all know that educational experiences must be interesting and entertaining
as well as informative if the students are to "get the message"! Therefore,
our entire facility was designed to stimulate an interest in learning about our
coastal environment through innovative live, marine habitat displays, interactive-exhibits,
artistic decor, as well as various educational resources.
believe that the more we all know about what is in our coastal waters the more
likely we are to care for what is there. We also believe that education is the
first step towards sustainable conservation, and that legislation alone will not
- We strongly believe that learning is a life-long
pursuit and that if pre-school children can be stimulated and "taught to
learn" at that early stage, they will want to continue to learn for the rest
of their lives. That is why we have a special Early Childhood programme for Play
Centre and Kindergarten children.
- Since opening, we have hosted
monthly Open Weekends for the general public so that the relatives and friends
of those visitors who previously attended a booked session could also learn something
about their marine environment. It was especially rewarding to see pre-school
and school-aged children who attended a booked visit bring their parents, grandparents,
and other caregivers to these weekend sessions and spend their time telling them
what they've learned!!
- All our education programmes encourage
children and adults to explore our facilities, to ask questions about what they
see and hear, and to investigate and develop an understanding of the interrelationships
between scientific learning and their daily lives.
- We especially
encourage participation in our interactive learning experiences to enhance their
scientific attitudes, and try to inject a sense of discovery and speculation into
the activities we offer to develop their scientific investigative skills.
- We encourage both girls and boys to participate in all the programme's
activities, and consciously use non-sexist language in all our discussions. The
programmes also interject specific elements which recognise the multi-cultural
nature of New Zealand society, and foster recognition and respect for tangata
whenua by including Maori knowledge about the natural and physical world, by using
Maori names for common marine species and place names, and by presenting Maori
oral tradition where applicable.
- All schools have stated that
our programmes assisted them meet the science curriculum achievement aims for
their particular level, and that the best part of the Programme was our approach
to science teaching, our use of hands-on activities, our facilities, and our guided
visits to the adjacent rocky shore.
- Many of the schools commented
on our enthusiasm, our ability to instil interest in and hold the attention of
their particular age group, and how important it was to have Ms Hutt as a role
model for female students who may be interested in a career in science in general
and marine science in particular.
- Other relevant comments we
have received over the years included: the positive feedback the teachers received
from the students after the school visit; and how the visit was the stimulus for
further follow-up discussions and subject exploration once back at school.
- Although the Centre has never advertised, its school visit programmes
have been extremely popular with primary, intermediate, and secondary schools
both within the greater Wellington Region and other areas of the New Zealand.
- An annual visit to the Centre has been an integral part of most local
schools' science curriculum, and programmes are usually booked months in advance.
The Centre's once-a-month Open Weekends have also become so popular that the Centre's
facilities are often overflowing with visitors.
- Our programmes
and activities have always been entirely supported by the local community through
public and private grants, individual donations, and voluntary efforts. We propose
to continue this approach to learning while continuing to foster respect and protection
of our environment through stimulating, hands on, interactive activities, live
displays, and interesting discussions.
Dr Victor Anderlini
click to send the Centre an email.