Clear blue skies and sea

Textbooks and Turtles

It’s all snorkels, sun and some scientific surveys as geography class becomes an underwater adventure for Masada College HSC students.

“Our HSC geography class excursion was one to remember as we spent three nights in Cairns and the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef,” said Ryan Gill of the HSIE Department: Geography and Head of Teaching and Learning Years 7-12 at Masada College. “Highlights of the trip include Fitzroy Island where, as part of our study of ecosystems at risk, students were able to analyse the human impacts, biophysical processes and management techniques that we had been studying in class for some time. It was as if we had become reef surveyors, identifying coral and fish species and conducting reef surveys with underwater slates. We also visited the island’s turtle rehabilitation centre to learn about the biophysical interactions of these species and the human impacts and management of the reef,” said Gill.

“We learned of the enormous effort the centre goes to, rehabilitating injured turtles for up to 24 months, with an amazing success rate of 85%,” said student Jared Rudnick.

Of course, it was the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef that stood out as a major highlight of the trip, as student Sascha Jacobs, said: “not only because of the breathtaking underwater maze of coral and fish but also because it turned our weeks of learning into reality. For our field work activity, we were given a board to fill out underwater, tallying the amazing marine life and observing the extent of damaged coral. Afterwards, were able to snorkel freely around the reef where we saw stingrays, large starfish and a variety of fish and coral.”

“We woke early on our last day, no one wanting to leave, but with memories that would remain with us all for a long time. My thanks and appreciation to Masada students James Yuan, Jared Rudnick and Sascha Jacobs who made this trip a real adventure,” says Gill.

Masada College students who participated

  • Jared Rudnick
  • James Yuan
  • Sascha Jacobs


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