Seven Grade 10 students and a teacher from Bundaberg Christian College have spent a week on the reef as part of experiential learning with Science Under Sail Australia.
Family members joined the students on Sunday as they packed the boat and had their initial safety briefings before heading out to sea early Monday morning.
Over the course of the week, the students have been investigating marine science components of their curriculum through the mapping of coral and underwater sea grass.
Director of Science Under Sail Australia Dr James Udie says the expeditions were much more than just a week away on the Great Barrier Reef.
“This expedition heads out to the Capricorn Bunkers and Pancake Creek between Bundaberg and Gladstone on the mainland. We will be doing surveys where the sea grass and coral live along with testing water clarity and quality,” Dr Udie said.
Dr Udie said he had feedback from teachers after their students have participated in the program about an increase in leadership capabilities and being willing to participate and step up and ask questions if they don’t understand something.
“Students participate in data collection, video editing, data entry on spreadsheets as well as learning more about steering a yacht this size and participating in cooking meals in the galley,” he said.
For Dr Udie, seeing the enthusiasm and excitement of young people as they learn and experience new adventures was what he loved about the trip, as well as the team building and friendships that were built.
“It’s this along with the way self-confidence grows in the students who may have been quite timid at the beginning,” he said.
Also, the content around marine science gets me excited to run trips every year.”