Burnie High School

Students' studies come alive


SCIENCE STUDIES:  Burnie High School students Laura Smith (grade 8) and Riley Kirkland (grade 9) will be taking part in BioBlitz in the Tarkine Forest with Paul O'Halloran.  Picture:  Grant Wells, The Advocate.

Working with nationally recognised scientists, 30 students from Burnie High School will get a chance to participate in citizen science in the Tarkine forest next week.

The students from grade 7-10, were selected for their excellence in the Scientific Investigation Awards earlier this year, senior science teacher Simone Summers said.

The "BioBlitz" will provide students the chance to use the latest scientific technology to assist scientists find and classify species at Dempster Plains in the Tarkine.

The students will rotate through three groups and find animal tracks, spot bats and mammals with camera traps and identify footprints and tracks of invertebrates and birds.

"It is a great opportunity for school and kids," former Greens member for Braddon and teacher Paul O'Halloran, who organised the school participation, said. 

"We are really lucky to have so much natural history in such a small area," Mr O'Halloran said.

"And kids flourish in the outdoor learning environment."

The whole day would help students improve their scientific literacy and open students to the job opportunities in the scientific field.

Laura Smith is a grade eight student and is passionate about biology.

Tracking animals in the wild will be an "eye-opener," she said.

The excursion would be her first opportunity to visit the Tarkine and she looks forward to enjoying the scenery of the Tarkine and learning all about it she said.  Riley Kirkland, a grade nine student, has dissected a heart and an eye in science class, but never had the chance to track animals.

He likes anything to do with science and maths and he said he will be fascinated to use the trap technology and to find out about animals in the Tarkine.

The Tarkine is home to a number of endemic species - flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world but Tasmania.

The four-day Bio Blitz is funded by the Bob Brown Foundation and aims to deepen the scientific data on the Tarkine.

  • Tarkine BioBlitz will run from Thursday, November 19 to Sunday, November 22.  For more information on the BioBlitz or to sign up to get involved contact Jenny Weber, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Story by Lucy Swinnen, The Advocate.