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New Marine Sciences school subject being piloted.

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The Two Oceans Aquarium, in partnership with Gansbaai Academy, Simon’s Town High and South Peninsula High have launched Marine Sciences as a new pilot subject. 

These three schools have been selected as “Marine Sciences Node Schools” and will offer the new subject to Grade 10 learners. These learners will be the pilot group and successful candidates will be awarded a Two Oceans Aquarium Gr12 Marine Sciences Certificate when matriculating.  This pilot will guide teachers to introduce this subject as an official Matric subject for Gr 10 students in 2020.

For Russell Stevens, Head of Education at the Two Oceans Aquarium, this is a significant milestone in the work towards the development of the subject which will be implemented in schools across the country from 2020.

The Two Oceans Aquarium has a very active and respected education department that sees approximately 70 000 school children visit the Aquarium each year who are introduced to the wonders of the marine ecosystems.

Additionally, since 2005 the Two Oceans Aquarium’s Environmental Education Centre has offered enrichment courses for learners from Grade 6 through to Grade 12. These courses, usually presented over weekends or during school holidays and through various sponsorships, are offered free of charge for the learners. It is from these highly-acclaimed and ever-popular courses that Aquarium’s education team was approached by the department of education to develop the Marine Sciences curriculum for schools.

What is the Marine Sciences curriculum about?
The Marine Sciences curriculum has been conceived to cover five sub-disciplines:
  1. Marine Geography and Geology: this section deals with the structure and origins of coastlines, the seafloor and sediments, and how these change over time.
  2. Marine Chemistry: the chemical composition and properties of seawater, and the effects of pollutants on ocean life.
  3. Marine Physics: waves, tides and currents, as well as the ways in which the ocean acts as a driver of weather and climate.
  4. Marine Biology: marine life and includes ecology, fundamental biology, classification, evolutionary processes, and the adaptation of marine organisms to their environments.
  5. Humans and the Ocean: this section highlights how humans use the ocean for food, travel and recreation, and how renewable and non-renewable resources are harvested. This section also considers the importance of research in understanding the ocean and the effects that human activities and practices have on the ocean and larger global patterns (e.g. climate change, ocean acidification).  The issue of sustainability is foregrounded in the teaching of the entire subject.
How can you take part?

The Marine Sciences pilot subject has been launched at the node sxhools as part of the Grade 10’s curriculum.  It is offered as an “after-school” 8th subject, over two afternoons per week (as determined by the school).   The subject will also be available to interested Grade 10 learners from neighbouring schools and nearby areas.  A minimal cost for students will apply and be payable to the node schools’ governing body.

For enquiries regarding the Marine Sciences curriculum and subjects, please contact the following node schools:

  • Gansbaai Academy (028 384 2370)
  • Simon’s Town High (021 786 1056)
  • South Peninsula High (021 712 9318)
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