Oceans In Motion is an outreach programme offered by the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, with the support of AVI, that brings lessons about marine life to under-resourced schools throughout the greater Cape Town area. Outreach teacher Thabo Sabeko brings a mobile aquarium to Grades 4 to 6 learners, with exciting CAPS-aligned lessons about the ocean's wonders.
Foundation intern Kirsten Bessick joined Thabo on a recent outreach visit to a local school, to share the experience. During the lesson, Thabo introduced the learners to various marine invertebrates - armoured sea stars, spiny sea urchins and beautiful anemones. With these animal ambassadors, the learners were introduced to the complexity of our coastal marine ecosystem, how these animals fit into the food web, and how human life on land can have a lasting impact on these fragile ecosystems.
"Something that really stood out for me was that, when Thabo asked the class 'Who here has seen a starfish?' and 'Who has been to the Aquarium before?', only a few learners raised their hands. Something that is so "normal" for many of us, that we just take for granted, is inaccessible to so many children.
This goes to show just how important this type of work is, taking the Two Oceans Aquarium into schools and classrooms so that children actually have a chance to see marine life and to understand that there is an entire ecosystem beneath the waves." said Kirsten.
Although Cape Town is a coastal city, and all its residents are deeply connected to the ocean, that connection is not always obvious and is rarely something the average Capetonian gives a second thought to. Whether it is considering where your fish fingers came from, where that plastic bag being carries away by wastewater in the gutter goes, or what is happening just below the surface the next time you go to the beach - stimulating excitement in our ocean's inhabitants is the first step into a life where children want to know more about their connection to the sea, want to protect it, and maybe even pursue ocean careers!
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